Pretty Much Everyone Figures Cain Is Over
Poll numbers will decline on their own, rivals assume
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 7, 2011 9:27 AM CST
Republican presidential candidate and former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain addresses the Defending the American Dream Summit at the Washington Convention Center November 4, 2011 in Washington, DC.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Herman Cain was, at least until recently, still at the top of the polls despite the sex-harassment claims against him—so why aren’t his fellow Republican presidential candidates jumping all over the story in an effort to hurt his numbers? Because they’ve already written him off—and Democrats have, too, writes Alexander Burns for Politico. "He was never going to be the nominee," William Kristol said yesterday on Fox News Sunday. Indeed, most of his foes never believed Cain had a real shot at the White House.

Now, his 2012 rivals—who have largely shied away from passing judgment on the situation (with one exception)—are waiting it out. If his support declines on its own, they won’t have to risk angering Cain’s base by dissing him publicly. Neither do Democrats have anything to gain by attacking Cain—many would be more than happy to see him make it to the general election. Says one Republican strategist, "The Obama folks have to be salivating at the thought of going up against a guy with these sorts of skeletons now partially out of the closet and who does not know things like that China has nuclear capabilities." (Click to read about that "oops.")