Herman Cain Is Still a Front-Runner for 2012

Even as his campaign is plagued by a still-developing sexual-harassment scandal, the former CEO remained at the top of the field in a new poll

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Herman Cain remains tied with Mitt Romney atop the national Republican field despite the revelations that multiple women have accused the former head of the National Restaurant Association of sexual harassment, according to a new USA Today/Gallup poll released on Monday.

Each new poll of the GOP field is likely to provide a fuller picture of the impact that these allegations are having on Cain's candidacy. This poll was conducted Nov. 2-6 (last Wednesday to Sunday), as the controversy around Cain grew.

Cain and Romney are tied, both earning 21 percent support among Republicans and independents who say they lean to the GOP. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is at 12 percent, while Texas Gov. Rick Perry is at 11 percent. Other candidates are reported to be in single-digits.

After the first day of interviews, Gallup added questions about the Cain controversy to the poll. Asked if they believed the allegations against Cain, 47 percent said the accusations are probably false, and 33 percent said they are probably true. But very few said they are convinced either way, USA Today reported.

Asked how Cain is handling the allegations, 45 percent said he has done a good job, while 36 percent said he has done a bad job.

If the accusations against Cain are proven to be true, the poll shows that Cain's standing is likely to suffer. A majority, 53 percent, said they definitely would not vote for a candidate who committed sexual harassment, while 42 percent said they would still consider supporting him or her.

The poll surveyed 1,054 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, for a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percent. For the questions about the allegations against Cain, there were 850 respondents, for a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent.

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Steven Shepard is the polling editor for National Journal Hotline.

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