Cain suspends campaign, hints at endorsement; could it be good news for Obama?
Over the weekend, Herman Cain suspended his campaign and hinted that he would issue an endorsement soon. Most Cain supporters seem to be migrating to Newt Gingrich. Could a Gingrich victory ultimately be a win for Barack Obama?
Over the weekend, Herman Cain "suspended" his campaign to be the Republican candidate for president of the United States.
Meanwhile, new poll numbers are out in Iowa, the state that where voters will have the first chance to cull the Republican candidates, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is on top. But those numbers came out before Cain suspended his campaign and there's some who think Cain's departure could be a boon for President Barack Obama, rather than Gingrich.
Gingrich garned support from 25 percent of the 401 likely, Republican voters surveyed in the last four days of November. Texas Rep. Ron Paul was in second place with 18 percent support and Romney was in third with 16 percent.
"The race is far from settled. Eleven percent of likely caucus-goers are uncommitted to a first choice, and 60 percent are still willing to change their mind," reported The Des Moines Register, who conducted the poll.
Anna Sale, political reporter for WNYC, attended a tea party rally over the weekend, shortly after Cain suspended his campaign. Sale said most tea party activists seemed to have almost resigned themselves to having to support Gingrich.
"It wasn't because of any ringing endorsement of Gingrich himself, but rather, their options, they're running out of them," she said.
Sale said Gingrich tried to use the event to establish his connection to Cain. According to Sale, Gingrich described Cain as a friend and someone he was sad to see exit the race.
"Newt Gingrich sees a bit of himself in Herman Cain," Sale said.
There have been reports that Cain may endorse Gingrich on Monday.
Ron Christie, Republican political strategist, however said a Cain endorsement won't do much for Gingrich. Anyone who could be swung to Gingrich from Cain will probably find their own way there, and soon.
"Gingrich is the less person standing. At the end of the day, Cain's popularity continues to ebb and I don't know if that flow of support for Gingrich from a Cain endorsement is going to amount to much," Christie said.
But the opening there, Christie said, is for Romney and even former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who right now is receiving negligible support in most polls.
"I think Republicans are doing a bit of soul-searching now that we've entered the holiday season," Christie said.
Todd Zwillich, Takeaway Washington Correspondent, said Romney's facing a lot of uncertainty, now that Cain is out of the race.
"A Cain endorsement would mean an enormous amount to either candidate, but most likely to Newt Gingrich. It has to make Mitt Romney nervous," Zwillich said.
But there's a bit of a catch-22 here, Zwillich said. While Gingrich is surging and drawing increased Republican support, Democrats are also on-board with the Anyone But Romney movement. Sen. Charles Schumer said he hoped Gingrich would win the Republican nomination because he views him as immensely beatable.
"Democrats would be excited about anyone but Romney. Mitt Romney is the only candidate that Democrats are afraid of," Zwillich said.
Zwillich said Republicans are worried about Romney because he's running a national campaign already and is the stronger of the Republican candidates in a general election, but also because, with high unemployment and a sputtering economy, Barack Obama is a weak candidate at this time as well.
If it's Gingrich, Democrats see the road to re-election for Obama as vastly easier.
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