Herman Cain popular as ever—online at least

With 364 days to go until Americans go to the polls to elect a president, social media sites were blowing up Monday with news of a fourth women, Sharon Bialek,  accusing Republican primary front runner Herman Cain of harassment. Yet more than a week after Politico broke the story, Cain’s numbers—on Facebook, anyhow—were only rising.

Last week, Cain was quickly gaining fans on Facebook. On Tuesday he had more than 312,000, and a week later, Monday afternoon, the number had grown to almost 348,000. Many people were posting messages of support, regardless of what stories were being published about Cain.

“OK, I am a big Cain supporter. Have given a couple hundred bucks to the campaign. But I find this woman’s recounting to be quite believable. Does that change my support for Cain? No. Who else would I go with?” wrote Rebecca Coomes on the campaign’s Facebook page.

Cain was still ruling Twitter as well with more than 28,000 mentions on Sunday alone, according to Topsy.com, far out doing competitors like Rick Perry and Mitt Romney. It was of course nowhere near last week when he topped out at 38,000. The numbers for Monday were not available by deadline.

Meanwhile, over on Tumblr, Cain was the subject of dozens of posts, one of which was a spoof campaign slogan, playing off statements made by Sharon Bialek, the forth women to come out accusing Cain of inappropriate conduct. Bialek recounted a time when she was hoping to keep her job at the National Restaurant Association and Cain touched her inappropriately before saying “you want a job, right?” With the help of photo-altering programs, many thought it fit perfectly under a Cain 2012 logo.

Cain has also been the subject of some spoof campaign jingles that include “endorsements” by Rush Limbaugh, Ronald Regan and John Wayne. The jingles were making the rounds on Tumblr last week and will likely continue to gain attention as Cain stays in the news.

While the spikes in mentions on Twitter and Tumblr simply reflect the news of the day, Cain’s continued support on Facebook seems to show that social media could be foreshadowing the fact that the businessman will be unharmed by this recent scandal, at least in the eyes of primary voters. According to Real Clear Politics, Cain was beating Romney by two percentage points in an average of national polls.

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Justin Franz

Justin Franz

Justin Franz is a Montana-based reporter and photographer who wrote about web culture for the Daily Dot. His work has more recently appeared in Flathead Living Magazine, Trains Magazine, and Travel + Leisure.