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Back in March, before Herman Cain officially announced his candidacy for president and political watchers were just beginning to ask, "Who is Herman Cain?" he granted an interview with The Root. Though largely unknown at the time, the former Godfather's Pizza executive was confident about his chances, partially because of his popularity with certain factions of the conservative base.

"I have gotten a strong reception with the Tea Party movement, the citizens' movement, and a lot of FairTax people are in my corner," he said. "The reason I won [the Tea Party straw poll] is because I have a strong ground game building."

Eight months later Herman Cain is a household name, thanks not only to the success of that ground game but also to an ever-expanding string of policy gaffes, sexual harassment accusations and scandals, and claims of a 13-year affair. It's no surprise, then, that Cain ended his bid for the White House on Saturday with the announcement that he's suspending his campaign.

"When I went through this assessment of impact on my family first, the impact on you, the supporters -- your support has been unwavering -- as well as raising the necessary funds to be competitive, we have come to this conclusion," Cain said at an Atlanta press conference with Gloria Cain, his wife of 43 years, by his side. He also called the allegations from various women "false and untrue."

But while Cain continues to be "a voice for the people" through other means, such as his new "The Cain Solutions" website, where will those people go? With a still-crowded field of GOP contenders, several candidates stand to benefit from the supporters forced to depart the Cain Train.

If recent presidential polls are any indication, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has reason to celebrate. As Cain's star has fallen over the past several weeks, Newt Gingrich has inversely surged to the top. According to Rasmussen, Gingrich is now the national front-runner, with support from 38 percent of likely Republican voters. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who just can't get any love from the Tea Party, comes in at second with 17 percent.

The direct correlation between Cain's demise and Gingrich's success seems counterintuitive, given that Cain was often revered for his political "outsider" status, while Gingrich has a long history in Washington, working as an influential member of the U.S. Congress and a lobbyist for a range of corporate clients. The thrice-married Gingrich also has his own past marital scandals, making his post-Cain ascension seem even more improbable.

But with a political climate that includes more Tea Party-esque but shaky candidates, such as Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, this may be a classic example of Gingrich being in the right place at the right time. Then again, there's still a month to go before the Iowa Caucus -- and between now and then, anything could happen.

Cynthia Gordy is The Root's Washington reporter.