Polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina have Newt Gingrich at or near the top of the GOP presidential field and the uncertainty surrounding Herman Cain and his campaign may boost Gingrich’s campaign even more.
In South Carolina, an Insider Advantage poll had Gingrich leading the pack with 38 percent. Trailing him was Mitt Romney with 15 percent. Cain was third with 13 percent.
In New Hampshire, a Rasmussen survey had Romney in the lead with 34 percent, Gingrich with 24 percent, Ron Paul with 14 percent and Jon Huntsman with 11 percent.
In Iowa, an Insider Advantage poll had Gingrich in the lead with 38 percent. Romney was second with 15 percent. Cain was third with 13 percent.
In Florida, an Insider Advantage poll conducted last night had Gingrich leading with 41 percent, Romney with 17 percent, and Cain with 13 percent.
Yesterday afternoon, though, Cain held a conference call with his staff where he told them that he would “reassess” the status of the campaign and whether he would continue on. The National Review and the Des Moines Register first reported on the conference call.
Then, throughout the day, and as Cain was giving a major foreign policy address, the Cain campaign denied that Cain would be dropping out of the race.
Cain even wrote a note to his supporters that said a “troubled Atlanta business woman used national media outlets to promulgate a fabricated, unsubstantiated story about a 13 year affair with me.”
“I am writing you today to assure you that this woman’s story is completely false,” Cain wrote.
Cain, in the e-mail to supporters, said that he did know Ms. White and had “helped her financially at times over the past few years, just as I have helped many friends and acquaintances throughout the years.”
“I thought Ms. White was a friend in need of a supportive hand to better her life,” Cain continued. “Ms. White has made it apparent that she was abusing the friendship.”
Cain then acknowledged that “this is a trying time for my family, my campaign, and for me” and asked his supporters for their “friendship,” “prayers,” and “support”
“Let me assure you, I am not deterred,” Cain said. “America’s future is too important. We will continue on this journey to make America great once again.”
But should all these allegations against Cain take a toll on his family and convince him to drop out of the race, the beneficiary may be Gingrich. Multiple polls, such as those conducted by Quinnipiac and The Des Moines Register, have shown that Cain’s support would go to Gingrich.
In addition, Gingrich has repeatedly praised Cain and even conducted a modified Lincoln-Douglas style debate with him in Texas, both of which have gone well with those who support Cain.
While Cain’s staff has been emphatic that Cain would not drop out, voters may also discount Cain’s chances and not want to waste their votes on him if Cain stays in for the early nominating contests. Should that happen, Gingrich would almost certainly be the beneficiary.