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Voter Tide Still Not Turning Against Cain Voter Tide Still Not Turning Against Cain

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Voter Tide Still Not Turning Against Cain

SPARTANBURG -- One day after Sharon Bialek put a name and a face to the allegations of sexual harassment that have loomed over presidential candidate Herman Cain for more than a week, many voters are still giving him the benefit of the doubt.

Interviews with voters on Tuesday in this heavily Republican corner of the state that has chosen the Republican nominee since 1980 found a mostly a positive view of Cain. National Journal and CBS News are sponsoring a debate at Wofford College here on Saturday.

Cain has denied harassing Bialek, as well as two other women who worked for him at the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s and received settlements after they complained about his behavior.

"It's very unfortunate that these ladies are coming up with these accusations,'' said Shelby Clark, 79.

"Either it didn't happen or they want the publicity or they are trying to discredit him. It's a smear campaign,'' said Annie Hargrove, 53.

One exception was Mary Willis, 83. She said, "I thought it was media hype but when I saw that woman's picture in the paper today and heard what she said, I believed her.''

The latest statewide polls -- taken before the allegations surfaced -- show Cain in the lead or trailing Mitt Romney. The story has changed so rapidly since the news first broke last Sunday that it's hard to predict how voters here and elsewhere will react in the days ahead.

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