In fact, Rasmussen’s post-scandal poll (taken last night) found Herman Cain leading the field in South Carolina by a 10-point margin:
In South Carolina, businessman Herman Cain leads the GOP field with former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney ten points behind. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is the only other candidate in double digits. The survey was conducted on Tuesday night following two days of media coverage concerning allegations of sexual harassment against Cain.
It’s hard to tell whether that’s an improvement for Cain in South Carolina, since the polls from the state have been all over the place. Cain led in two out of the three South Carolina polls taken in October (+3 in NBC News/Marist, and +16 in Insider Advantage), and Romney led in one (+2 in CNN/Time). But it still seems to bode well for Cain, showing that at the very least he’s still maintaining a lead.
If Perry’s campaign hoped for an immediate boost from Cain’s scandal, this will probably disappoint them. Rasmussen shows the Texas governor now trailing Gingrich at 4th place in the state, and he doesn’t even make it to the double-digits. Even if Cain does lose support, there’s no indication here that it will to shift back to Perry.
If Cain supporters are willing to overlook the controversy of the last few days, it would probably take an awful lot for them to turn on him. Unless the details of the case turn out to be completely outrageous, this could actually end up helping Cain’s image. If he survives a scandal like this, it would bolster his argument that’s it’s just an unfair liberal attack, and potentially win him a lot of sympathy and support from the conservative movement.