As the major Republican candidates for President gather tonight in Michigan for a debate to be broadcast on CNBC, the race continues to be buffeted by charges of sexual misconduct against Georgia businessman Herman Cain.
“I can categorically say I have never acted inappropriately with anyone. Period,” Cain said at a news conference in Phoenix.
While that was playing out, a new poll was released in Ohio that showed Cain surging into a big lead over Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney – yes, Gingrich in second place.
But things get better for the former House Speaker, as Public Policy Polling found that Gingrich is ahead in a new poll of Republican voters in Mississippi, with Cain just a few points behind.
It was more polling evidence that Gingrich is bubbling up, and maybe being seen as an alternative to Romney who could supplant Cain – if Herman’s troubles continue to grow.
And with the possibility of what would be a major media circus involving multiple female accusers of Cain, it’s a good time for candidates other than Cain to be surging.
But for now, Cain is still riding high, as voters told PPP that think the charges have mainly been spread by Democrats.
“Herman Cain got through the first week since the allegations came to light in pretty good shape,” said Dean Debnam, President of PPP.
Tonight is the first of two debates this week, and if there are no scandal questions, it will be a welcome change of pace for Cain, who has struggled to stay on message for over a week.