POLITICS

Is this the end for Herman Cain?

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A political novice, Cain leveraged strong tea party support to hurtle to the front of the Republican pack in October casting himself as an anti-establishment outsider. His catchy 9-9-9 tax overhaul proposal helped his rise. But his effort soon lost altitude.

He fumbled policy questions, and his campaign has been reeling since it was revealed a little more than a month ago that the National Restaurant Association paid settlements to two women who claimed Cain sexually harassed them while he was president of the organization. A third woman told The Associated Press that Cain made inappropriate sexual advances but that she didn't file a complaint. A fourth woman also stepped forward to accuse Cain of groping her in a car in 1997.

Cain has denied wrongdoing in all cases. And his campaign was taking some steps to blunt the drumbeat of allegations. It unveiled a "Women for Herman Cain" webpage with testimonials from female backers, some urging him to stay in the race. It was led by Gloria Cain.

The candidate's wife - who's not been on the campaign trail - has drawn her own support as the allegations against her husband have piled up.

A Facebook page "I Stand With Gloria Cain" had attracted more than 400 supporters by Friday afternoon.

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