The soaring Herman Cain has made a number of missteps in the past few days that might just contribute to a slide from his current prominence.
On Oct. 13, businessman Herman Cain was leading former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll. The former CEO of Godfather's Pizza led by a margin of 27-23 percent, and was way ahead of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who only received a 16 percent favorability rating.
The NBC/Wall Street Journal poll results followed impressive showings in a number of straw poll referendums. Cain appeared to be the candidate to beat, so much so that his fellow Republican candidates have been taking turns attacking the former Atlanta radio host's frequently repeated "999" plan.
Cain addressed the extraordinary focus he received from his colleagues by telling CBS News: "It attracted a lot of attention at the debates last night. You know you must be doing something right when you get a lot of arrows in your back."
Over the past week a number of missteps have appeared to have taken some of the tarnish off the rising Cain.
First, he has received much criticism for his "999" plan, even from Republican tax guru Grover Norquist, who told CNN Money: "If it was coming up for a vote tomorrow, I would not support it."
"It ultimately gets down to a choice that that family or that mother has to make. Not me as president, not some politician, not a bureaucrat. It gets down to that family. And whatever they decide, they decide. I shouldn't have to tell them what decision to make for such a sensitive issue."
Cain was immediately criticized by Michele Bachmann, who said: "Clearly the words out of his mouth indicated that he was in favor of a pro-abortion position, so I think there's a lot of questions that people have (about Cain), I'm 100 percent prolife."
The outspoken Cain sought to clarify his stance on abortion following the CNN interview:
"I am 100% pro-life. End of story. I will appoint judges who understand the original intent of the Constitution. Judges who are committed to the rule of law know that the Constitution contains no right to take the life of unborn children. I will oppose government funding of abortion."
The candidate continued to stress his prolife stance: "I will veto any legislation that contains funds for Planned Parenthood. I will do everything that a president can do, consistent with his constitutional role, to advance the culture of life."
He then told CBN's David Brody that if elected president, he would sign a constitutional amendment against gay marriage and abortion. Perhaps Cain forgot that a presidential signature is not required on a constitutional amendment.
Do these statements mean the end of Cain's front-runner status? The answer will be indicative of just how strongly he is favored by his supporters.