[Posted by Karl]
News broken by National Review’s Robert Costa:
In a conference call this morning, Herman Cain told his senior staff that he is “reassessing” whether to remain in the race. He will make his final decision “over the next several days.”
As GOP media guy Rick Wilson quipped:
Just so y’all know “reassessing” is code for “packing office boxes with stolen laptops” and calling friend[s] in other campaigns.
At the WaPo, Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake previewed the question, “You know who this benefits?” without the usual punchline:
The latest allegation swirling around businessman Herman Cain — that he conducted a 13-year long extramarital affair with a woman named Ginger White — could well amount to a political death blow for his already-reeling presidential campaign. And that’s bad news for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
The latest allegations regarding Cain, when coupled with the dead-in-the-water candidacies (at least for the moment) of one-time conservative alternatives Perry and Bachmann, make it increasingly likely that Republicans looking for a Romney alternative will view Gingrich as the only viable option.
One problem with that analysis: a recent poll — by the WaPo, no less — showed that if Cain dropped out, Romney was likely to benefit as much as or more than Newt Gingrich. That poll was taken when Cain’s standing was just starting to erode and Gingrich was just starting to rise. Thus, it’s possible Newt has already reaped most of the benefit of Cain’s decline and that a Cain dropout would now benefit… Mitt Romney.
Update: PPP pegs Newt as the likely beneficiary of a Cain pullout.