POLITICS

Cain continues campaign amid controversy

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Official figures won't be available for weeks, but to judge from Cain's existing campaign organization, it could hardly come at a better time for him.

Attorney Joel Bennett, representing woman allegedly sexually harassed by Herman Cain, speaks to the media. (Photo: John Gonzalez) (Photo: Associated Press)

In Iowa, where caucuses kick off the campaign year on Jan. 3, Cain has a modest presence at best.

He let more than two months lapse between visits on Aug. 13 and Oct. 22, and aides say they don't expect him to return to the state until Nov. 19.

He employs four full-time staff in the state, while Perry and Rep. Michel Bachmann of Minnesota each have 10 on their campaign payroll. Romney, who is still evaluating how strenuously to compete in the state, also has a bigger staff than Cain.

Cain also trails his rivals in the endorsement competition in Iowa, an important but hardly foolproof indication of a candidate's viability.

Lisa Lockwood, a spokesman for Cain's campaign in Iowa, said he has the support of Dean Kleckner, a former state Farm Bureau president and a party activist, and Pottawattamie County Chairman Jeff Jorgenson.

By contrast, Romney, Perry, Bachmann and former Sen. Rick Santorum have netted endorsements from state lawmakers and local party officials whose own networks could potentially prove beneficial.

So far, Cain has not run television commercials in the state, unlike Bachmann, Perry and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas.

In South Carolina, which hosts the first Southern state caucus, Cain has a staff of four and shows evidence of grassroots support. He won a straw poll of 110 women at a state Federation of
Republican Woman meeting last weekend, followed closely by former Speaker Newt Gingrich, Bachmann and Romney.

Seven in 10 Republicans polled said reports of the allegations don't matter when it comes to picking a candidate.

But in a sign of possible danger ahead, the poll found that Cain slipped to third place among those who see the accusations as serious, and Republican women were significantly more likely than men to say the allegations make them less apt to support the businessman. The survey found that support for Cain was basically steady over the four nights of interviewing, though new accusations were surfacing.

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