DONE AND DONE: Herman Cain Acknowledging Reality For The First And Last Time In His Campaign

ABC NEWS: Herman Cain’s chief of staff Mark Block confirmed to ABC News that the candidate told his senior staff this morning he’s reassessing whether to stay in the race, as reported by the National Review. An adviser to Cain said the former businessman told staff he will spend the next two days assessing his candidacy, and that he would base his decision on two factors. One, whether or not he still has enough  support to go on, and two, the toll it is taking on his family. MORE

THE ATLANTIC: On a conference call Tuesday morning, Herman Cain told campaign staffers he’s “reassessing” his candidacy in the wake of the latest allegation of sexual misbehavior against him. Cain said he would stick to his schedule, including a speech at Michigan’s Hillsdale College scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight. “We’re going to continue until we complete our assessment over the next several days,” he said, according to National Review‘s Robert Costa, who was on the call. “But if a decision is made different than to plow ahead, you all will be the first to know,” Cain added. Thus begins the deathwatch stage of the former pizza CEO’s twisting presidential campaign saga. The vultures have been circling Cain for the last several weeks as the scandal has played out; Cain’s blunders have only accelerated the slide. Who stands to benefit if Cain does drop out? What’s clearest is who doesn’t: Mitt Romney. As a flawed and unloved front-runner, Romney’s best shot has always been against a fragmented field of subpar challengers. From Cain to Rick Santorum to Ron Paul, the more secondary candidates carve up the pie of voters who see Romney as unacceptable, the fewer votes he needs to achieve a plurality win in each successive primary. MORE

JOE TRIPPI: While the comparison between 1984 and 2012 rhymes, Romney lacks the one thing that saved the nomination for Mondale – strong support and loyalty from the base of his party. Mondale was one of the strongest frontrunners in the Democratic Party over the past few decades. Romney is arguably one of the weakest GOP frontrunners in recent memory.Walter Mondale was a darling of the base of the Democratic Party. Mondale was regarded by the liberal base as a liberal through and through, and when he faltered, activists and party groups rallied to his cause and joined the fight to save his campaign. If Romney falters, who in his party will fight for him? Who in the GOP will try to catch him and hold him up? Romney does not enjoy the loyalty and support of the conservative base of the GOP. If Romney stumbles he will be on his own. All of this points to an uphill struggle for Romney once Iowa decides who will be “the other candidate.” And Romney can forget about his money advantage. History may be rhyming but times have changed. In 1984 Walter Mondale had all the money on the Democratic side. When the world found out Gary Hart was the other candidate and tried to contribute to his campaign they had to send checks through the mail that took days to get to Hart headquarters. Back in 1984, banks held out-of-state checks for seven days before cashing them and releasing the money to a campaign. Today, millions of dollars will pour into the coffers of the candidate who wins Iowa within hours over the Internet and Mitt Romney will be in for the fight of his life. MORE

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