The results of the latest Politico poll of likely Republican voters seem promising enough for Herman Cain, who claims 27 percent support to Mitt Romney's 25 percent. But behind the final results is an ominous trend for the Georgia businessman, who has struggled to move past allegations that he sexually harassed four women.
The Politico-George Washington University Battleground Poll was conducted over four days, from Sunday, Nov. 6, to Wednesday, Nov. 9. Combining the results from all four days, Cain had 27 percent support, Romney 25 percent, and Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry 14 percent each. But looking at the trend over those four days, support for Cain dropped from 40 percent on Sunday to 19 percent on Wednesday.
The biggest drop, from 40 percent to 22 percent, occurred from Sunday to Monday, coinciding with a press conference in which a fourth accuser, Sharon Bialek, accused Cain of trying to grope her in 1997 when she came to him for help finding a job.
Cain: Huge Support Drop Among Republican Women
The numbers indicate that the harassment allegations have hurt Cain's support more among women. Among Republican men, Cain led the field with 32 percent support, but among Republican women, he had just 21 percent support.
The gender divide was also evident in a hypothetical matchup between Cain and President Obama. Overall, Obama led Cain 49 percent to 40 percent, but among women, he led by an 18-point margin, 53 percent to 35 percent.
The bipartisan poll was co-sponsored by Politico, the first media outlet to report on the 1990s harassment allegations against Cain, and George Washington University, and was conducted jointly by the Republican-leaning Tarrance Group and the Democratic-leaning Lake Research Partners.
It does appear that the stories are certainly hurting him, Ed Goeas, a Republican pollster for the Tarrance Group, told Politico. As this moves forward, I think it does become more and more of a deal-breaker.