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October 31, 2011


What Happens to Cain and the GOP Field?

Herman Cain's survival as a GOP frontrunner depends on how he handles the mob of reporters interested in his response to the story that he sexually harassed at least two women.

First Read: "Three questions immediately come to mind: One, can his campaign handle this story? (The most sophisticated of political operatives struggle to handle and get in front of scandal stories; Cain's less experienced team, so far, appears to be struggling big time.) Two, assuming the campaign can't fix this, does Cain become the latest conservative darling (after Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry) to sink in the polls? And three, what happens if he does? Could that benefit Perry or someone else?"

Ben Smith: "I'm not sure to whose benefit the new information about Cain's record goes -- but that beneficiary will obviously be a Republican. I'm inclined, in fact, to think Newt Gingrich has the best shot of the next boomlet, and both Mitt Romney -- eager to have anyone but Rick Perry in that slot -- and Rick Perry, who's still re-assembling his campaign and image, might have been glad to leave Cain there a while."














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