How in the World is Herman Cain Still in First Place?

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Despite having terrible ideas, insisting that a huge anti businessman conspiracy machine is attempting to keep him out of Washington, and facing an entire basketball team's worth of sexual harassment allegations, a new poll has found that if Republican voters had to choose a Presidential candidate today, they'd still pick Herman Cain over the rest of the field. What gives?


The poll, conducted by CBS News, finds that 18% of likely Republican primary voters are currently supporting Cain. Trailing Cain are Mittens Romney and Newt Gingrich, who can each claim 15% of the Republican primary vote. Just to review: the three men who are in the lead to challenge President Obama for the office of Chief Executive are named Mitt, Newt, and Herman. That has to be some sort of nerd name record.

Part of Cain's lead can be attributed to the fact that the other candidates leave much to be desired by the Republican base. Romney's so desperate to get elected that he'd offer to kill his firstborn son on Mount Moriah if it would help him win Iowa. He's also been repeatedly cast aside by Republicans— he's already tried to run for President and failed. He's the political equivalent of the guy who ended a date in 2008 by crying and throwing empty Coke bottles at a Gymboree. Additionally, as the New York Times' Gail Collins loves to point out, he once drove to Canada with the family dog strapped to the roof of his car. Newt Gingrich isn't any better. Even though he's got some actual political savvy and the smarmy confidence of a Fox News host whose never been told he has a face for radio, there's no denying that his demeanor screams "asshole." There's also no denying that he's a serial philanderer who in the 1990's touted traditional family values while screwing around with his wife on a much younger mistress (a mistress who would later go on to become his current wife. Traditional!).

But there's another, crappier force at work here: Republicans care very little about the sexual harassment allegations leveled against Princess Pizza. The CBS poll found that 61% of Republican primary voters don't care where Herman Cain allegedly pushed Sharon Bialek's head. The numbers get more depressing when you divide by gender— 38% of women say that allegations against Cain makes a difference in their vote, where only 23% of men give a flying fuck. Cain could theoretically cup the asses of nuns in front of a female judge while yelling "THANK GOD FOR BOOBIES;" as long as there were no Republican men to corroborate their story, his support wouldn't waver.

Cain's has the nomination far from sealed. A full 70% of poll respondents say that they're still not sure for whom they'll cast their votes.

Poll: Cain tops 3 way race with Romney, Gingrich [CBS News]



If you look at the nifty little pie chart attached to the article, you can see that yes, Herman Cain is in first place with 18% of the poll.

Number two: Undecided/Don't Know. (Hilariously, number five is "Someone Else")

The race to the right to get the Republican nomination is bad now, but the race back to the center after the nomination will be truly ugly. And you can call me an insane optimist, but the result will be such a milquetoast, pale version of the red-meat candidate that the base loves, so nobody will be happy.

Except Obama and the Democrats, of which I am one.