A majority of GOP voters said the allegations of past sexual harassment against Herman Cain does not influence their likelihood of supporting Cain as the Republican nominee, according to a new poll conducted during the controversy.

Sixty-nine percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents surveyed said the controversy did not have any impact on their support of Cain, according to the ABC News/Washington Post poll. Fifty-five percent said they don't consider the allegations currently swirling around Cain's campaign to be a "serious matter."


Cain retains his front-runner status in the poll with 23 percent support nationally, neck and neck with rival Mitt Romney, who has 24 percent. Rick Perry is in third place with 13 percent, and Newt Gingrich has surged to 12 percent.

Among the nearly four in 10 Republican and Republican-leaning voters who do consider the allegations to be serious, 52 percent said it makes them less likely to vote for Cain. The poll showed that a higher number of respondents considered the allegations "serious" later in the week, as the controversy continued to grow.

Results suggest that if Cain's campaign cannot get ahead of the scandal, the controversy could significantly dent his support. Cain has denied any wrongdoing in response to the controversy, and blamed various sources for planting the story. The scandal involves claims from up to three women in the 1990s who accused Cain, then head of the National Restaurant Association, of sexual harassment.

The poll was conducted by Langer Research Associates starting Oct. 31 through Nov. 3. The charges against Cain first resurfaced on Oct. 30. The margin of error is 3 percent.