Who Benefits if Cain Quits?

Cain dropping out could work either way for Romney, pundits say

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 30, 2011 5:48 AM CST

(Newser) – The news that Herman Cain is "reassessing" his campaign in the wake of allegations of an extramarital affair has left pundits wondering which candidate would come out on top if the Cain Train came to a halt. A look around the blogosphere:

  • Some of Cain's Tea Party and evangelical supporters may end up choosing Michele Bachmann or Rick Santorum, but rising Mitt Romney alternative Newt Gingrich is best placed to benefit, decides Molly Ball at the Atlantic. Gingrich and Cain "share a stylistic appeal: an air of authenticity, as well as a certain joie de vivre," she writes.

  • Cain's exit would be good news for Gingrich, and very bad news for Romney, writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. Romney's stagnant poll numbers suggest that his only chance of winning the nomination will be if conservatives "fracture among several candidates rather than unify behind a single one," he writes.
  • Cain dropping out could actually work in Romney's favor, according to Philip Klein at the Washington Examiner. The spotlight could shift to Gingrich's "messy personal life, three marriages, and extramarital affair," he writes, and while Romney probably won't directly attack Gingrich over his personal life, don't be surprised if he starts mentioning his 42-year marriage a lot more often.

Herman Cain waves to the crowd at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan yesterday.
Herman Cain waves to the crowd at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Michigan yesterday.   (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011.   (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
In this Nov. 2, 2011 file photo Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.
In this Nov. 2, 2011 file photo Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)
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