GOP presidential frontrunner Herman Cain is in full damage-control mode as he faces a third straight day of questions about sexual harassment allegations from the 1990s, when he led the National Restaurant Association lobbying group. But the scandal is benefiting Cain in at least one way: According to aides, Americans donated $400,000 to his campaign on Monday, the day after Politico broke the story. And an admittedly unscientific Des Moines Register poll found that Cain's supporters in Iowa are sticking with him so far. Could the scandal leave Cain stronger than before?
Absolutely. These flimsy allegations are helping Cain: "The dollars tell the story," says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. Cain's Monday haul was his biggest fundraising day yet. And all-important caucus goers in Iowa see these supposedly "explosive allegations" for what they really are —"vague, second-hand" accounts from more than a decade ago. Clearly, Cain's supporters have been energized, and they're rallying behind him.
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The crisis could still be Cain's undoing: This scandal is still unfolding, says Alex Altman in TIME. Sure, it could turn out to be nothing but a "minor hiccup for Cain's surging campaign." But if the crisis mushrooms and more damaging details emerge, this could be the beginning of the end. Cain has to do well in early states like Iowa and South Carolina, and those states are full of social conservatives who don't easily forgive sex-tinged impropriety.
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This scandal is the least of Cain's problems: Cain's "buffoonish candidacy" is no better or worse off than it was before reports of his "allegedly puerile workplace behavior," says Wendy Kaminer at The Atlantic. He's totally ignorant about foreign policy, has "contempt for poor people and the unemployed," and can't defend his 9-9-9 tax reform gimmick. Cain was, and remains, "utterly unqualified for the presidency."
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