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Cain Poll Numbers Plummet in Iowa

The latest Des Moines Register poll shows Herman Cain at 8 percent among likely Republican caucusgoers, a steep drop from 23 percent when the poll was last conducted in late October.

Ginger White's allegation of a 13-year extramarital affair was made public on Monday, and the immediate impact on Herman Cain's candidacy was apparent in the polling results. From Sunday through Wednesday when the data was being collected, bad feelings about him doubled.

While 22% listed the businessman as the candidate they most wanted to see in a two-day rolling average of Sunday and Monday results, that dropped to an 8 percent average for Tuesday-Wednesday.

And as far as which candidate was most likely to have a scandal in the White House, Cain's numbers bolted from 25 percent at the start of polling to 47 percent at the end of polling.

The poll indicates Cain's popularity had already taken a hit before White's accusations hit the headlines; respondents indicated doubts about his knowledge of the issues, with 27 percent rating him "least knowledgeable" of the GOP pack -- the worst rated of all the candidates in this category. On the first day of polling his support stood at 12 percent. At the end of the four day window, it had dropped even more to 4 percent.

The poll of 401 likely Republican caucus goers, conducted Nov. 27-30, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

When the Des Moines Register conducted its first poll for this election cycle in June, Herman Cain had support among 10 percent of Republican caucus goers, which means his support has fallen below where it was five months ago. With just a little over a month until the Iowa caucus, that's a lot of ground for to regain. 

Herman Cain is meeting with his wife face to face Friday, after which he says he will decide whether he will continue his bid for the presidency.

The summary results of the Des Moines Register survey will be published Saturday at 7 p.m.