In receiving updates on the status of Herman Cain‘s scandal-plagued presidential campaign, I received the following tweet from one political insider: “Done like last week’s turkey.”
With roughly a month before the Jan. 3 Iowa Caucus–the first contest to determine the Republican nominee–pundits as well as much of the GOP feel the same way. Pressure continues to mount for him to withdraw from the race as the former Godfather’s Pizza honcho contends with allegations from Ginger White, an Atlanta women who claims she had a 13-year extramarital affair that ended this year. He also spent much of the past few weeks defending himself against charges of sexual harassment during his tenure as president of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
As his campaign implodes, Cain continues to fight on. He made stops in Ohio and New Hampshire Wednesday where he told a crowd in Manchester: “They keep coming after me. After that firestorm, people thought I was finished. Well, just like Yogi Berra said, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and I’m not finished yet.”
But the party, pundits and public have already started to move on, trying to figure out the calculus of how Cain’s supporters will impact the dogfight between GOP front runners former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, himself dogged by past sexual and financial scandals, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
This is a rapid change of fortune for the man who was the GOP front runner just a month ago. According to the independent Quinnipiac University national poll on Nov. 2, Cain led the primary field with 30%, followed by Romney with 23%, Gingrich with 10% and Texas Gov. Rick Perry with 8%. In the Nov. 22 Quinnipiac poll–before White’s allegations–Gingrich took the lead with 26%, Romney stood at 22% and Cain dropped to 14%. Losing ground with conservatives and Tea Party members, his support continues its precipitous decline.
What happened? Cain’s meteoric rise and hard fall offers lessons for all seeking office–whether its national or local. Here are five lessons we can learn:
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