Conservatives are rallying around Herman Cain as he battles sexual harassment allegations, comparing the attacks on the Republican presidential contender to what they describe as the "high-tech lynching" of another prominent black Republican: Clarence Thomas.

The forceful early reaction suggests the Georgia businessman's attempt to cast himself as a victim of the media and liberals is paying dividends among his conservative Republican base. But the accusations against the untested newcomer to the national political scene may give more moderate GOP voters pause. The allegations also could cause would-be donors to shy away even as Cain works to capitalize on his rising poll numbers.

With the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus less than three months away, the harassment allegations have the potential to reshuffle the GOP race.