Dec 4, 2011 12:23 PM by Trovette Tottress
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - Herman Cain's departure from the Republican presidential race has political observers reassessing
the field. In Iowa, where the first nominating contest will take place next month, the Des Moines Register has a fresh poll out that puts Newt Gingrich on top with 25 percent support, ahead of Ron Paul at 18 percent and Mitt Romney at 16.
Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus tells NBC that Cain provided an important voice in the race, but candidates "come and go" during every primary and the field inevitably narrows. Priebus Cain's polling numbers were falling andhe was having trouble raising money, so the GOP chairman thinks it's "only natural" that the candidate pulled out about a month before the first vote. Cain was battling allegations of sexual harassment and a claim that he had an extramarital affair. The Georgia businessman has denied the accusations. Some observers suggest the 2012 Republican presidential field is narrowing to a two-man race between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. But Michele Bachmann sees it differently. She says many of the people who had supported Herman Cain in the race are getting behind her candidacy. Bachmann tells CNN's "State of the Union" that Republican voters see her as the tea party candidate and the "most consistent conservative" in the contest.