The news today is what that means for the real contenders...Romney and Gingrich. In summary - its terrible news for Romney and an early Christmas gift for Gingrich.
With his support from likely Republican primary voters struggling to get above the mid-twenties, Romney's only hope for the nomination is in facing a large contingent of opponents. Today, that has been reduced by one. As far as the rest of the pack goes, once candidates have surged and fallen in a single campaign, it seems very unlikely they'll have a come-back. So I'd suggest Bachmann and Perry are down for the count. Santorum and Huntsman can't seem to gain any traction - no matter what they do. That leaves Newt as the only remaining viable not-Romney candidate.
Last week Tom Jensen from Public Policy Polling outlined why Gingrich gains from a Cain implosion.
If Herman Cain really ends up dropping out of the race Gingrich's surge should continue in the next few weeks, unless/until something starts happening to erode his popularity. Why? Because Cain's supporters absolutely love Gingrich. And they absolutely hate Mitt Romney.
Our last national survey found that Gingrich's favorability with Cain voters was 73/21. Meanwhile Romney's was 33/55. That's the same basic trend we've seen in every Republican primary poll we've done in the month of November. On average in 7 polls we've done this month Gingrich's favorability with Cain voters is 69/22. Romney's average is 31/57. In other words Gingrich's net favorability is 73 points better with Cain supporters than Romney's.
I'd imagine that its a day of behind-closed-doors celebration for the Gingrich campaign. The question is - if he has any real shot at the nomination - is that also good news for President Obama when it finally comes time for the general election.?