Are harassment allegations helping Cain?
Do not adjust your eyeglasses. The headline does indeed say "help," not "hurt."
So far, allegations that presidential candidate Herman Cain sexually harassed three National Restaurant Association employees while CEO of the organization in the 1990s does not seem to be hurting his appeal, though the media's attention to the issue may be getting to him.
Cain's campaign has reported receiving "an outpouring of support and a clear vote of confidence from his supporters."
They have the early numbers to back up that claim as well, with $400,000 in financial gifts -- more than the monthly average -- received on Monday alone.
Conservative commentators have rushed to Cain's aid.
"This is not a news story, this is gutter partisan politics," Rush Limbaugh said.
Laura Ingraham asked the media to "stop destroying a good man's reputation. ... We have seen this movie before."
Ann Coulter called Cain "a strong, conservative black man," and said, "They are terrified of strong, conservative black men."
Many Iowa Poll respondents who helped Cain claim the highest percentage of support are reportedly giving Cain the benefit of the doubt for now.
Not to be stereotypical, but that seems like the "Iowan" thing to do.
Most Iowans are not quick to rush to a conclusion or judgement without first assessing the situation and gathering as many facts as are available, and are also known for asking good questions and being well-educated on a myriad of topics. That reputation is one large reason why Iowa still has the first-in-the-nation presidential selection process (as New Hampshire has cemented their primaries for Jan. 10, a week after Iowa).
However, that reputation will also drive Iowans to continue to do their homework. That means if more allegations come out, or if individuals share specific details of supposed happenings, Iowans will find out about it and weigh it into their decision.
For that reason, Cain needs to be as candid with voters and the media as possible.
His charm has won him quite a few supporters. Now, he has to prove he's not too charming when it comes to female coworkers, and women in general.
Strangely enough, he could potentially learn something from fellow candidate Newt Gingrich. The June Iowa Poll showed 40 percent of respondents had an unfavorable view of the former Speaker of the House, but he has shrunk that number to 9 percent, ahead of Rep. Michele Bachmann (16 percent), Mitt Romney (14 percent), Rep. Ron Paul (12 percent) and Rick Perry (11 percent).
Gingrich has likely done this by steering voters away from his past personal life and toward his policy proposals and "21st Century Contract with America."
Whether or not Cain will be able to debunk the allegations is yet to be seen.
If his response to criticisms of his 9-9-9 plan are any indication, he may be able to ride out another storm.
However, now that he is on top of the polls and the season is changing, Cain and his advisers will have to protect his campaign from political blizzards while also dodging snowballs of accusations. There is simply a lot more danger to avoid when leading the pack.
Cain will also seek to protect his family, which has been out of the spotlight, from public scrutiny as the public and media ask, "Where is Cain's wife, anyway?"
Gloria Cain -- who contrasts the involvement of Anita Perry and Ann Romney -- is now set for at least one public interview.
Considering she never wanted to be in the public eye, the Cain campaign is likely nervous about her involvement and hoping for the best.
In the end, though, whether or not Cain continues to rise or experiences a dramatic fall will be his own doing.