Poll: Iowa caucus-goers unmoved by Cain harassment allegations

Twenty likely Iowa caucus-goers said they won't reject Herman Cain because of sexual harassment allegations against him.

The 20 likely Iowa caucus attendees all participated in the Des Moines Register's recent poll, which found Cain with a one-percentage-point lead over Mitt Romney. None of the 20 said the charges against Cain would lead them to reject him as a candidate.

“Unless it rolls into something undeniably very bad at his core, it will have no effect on my feeling about Mr. Cain as far as a viable candidate,” Rick Hall, a Des Moines accountant, told the Register. “It happened far enough ago, I’m not surprised that this thing wouldn’t follow many highly placed corporate officers.”

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Cain has acknowledged he was accused of sexual harassment while he headed the National Restaurant Association from 1996 to 1999, but said the charges were "baseless." But he has also offered conflicting details about financial settlements reached with two women who reportedly complained that he had engaged in sexually inappropriate behavior. 

The Register's follow-up is the first indication of how likely conservative voters might react to the allegations, and it’s a positive for the GOP presidential hopeful — so far.

“He has to lay all his cards on the table now and tell all truthfully,” said Steve Scheffler, president of the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition. “If there is nothing there, he will be fine with conservatives. If there is more, then there could be some real challenges for him.”