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According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, a majority of Americans who have heard about the Herman Cain sexual harassment scandal believe that the allegations against Cain are true. Surprisingly, however, Republican women are significantly more likely than any other group to believe that Cain is innocent. In fact, Republican women are the only gender group that believes the allegations to be false.

Among Republican women who have heard about the story, 46 percent believe that the allegations against Cain are false, compared with just 24 percent who believe that they are true. That number stands in sharp contrast to the 34 percent of Republican men who believe that Cain is guilty, with 33 percent of Republican men believing that the allegations against Cain are false.

It is unclear why Republican women believe in Cain’s fidelity so strongly.

Overall, the study found that 39 percent of voters who have heard about the allegations believe that they are true compared to 24 percent who think that they are false. 36 percent said that they didn’t know, or refused to answer. Unsurprisingly, Democrats are more likely to believe the allegations than Republicans are; by a 51 to 20 percent margin.

Of those who have heard about the allegations, a 43 percent plurality believe that the coverage of the scandal has been fair. Republicans are more likely to believe that the media has been unfair to Cain; of the group that believes the coverage to be unfair, 24 percent think it has been too harsh as opposed to 14 percent who believe that the media is being too soft on Cain.

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Reprinted with permission from Responsible Statecraft

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