MSNBC's Wolffe Sees Herman Cain Base as 'Ultraconservative'

Appearing as a guest on Saturday's Today show on NBC, MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe - formerly of Newsweek - labeled Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's supporters as "ultraconservative" as he admitted to the media's unpopularity not only with the general population, but with conservatives in particular.

After co-host Lester Holt noted that Cain's poll numbers have held steady despite accusations of sexual harassment, Wolffe explained:

You got to understand who he appeals to, why his numbers are so high in the Republican Party. He's got this ultraconservative base who actually hate the media even more than the general population.

Below is a transcript of the relevant exchange from the Saturday, November 5, Today show on NBC:

LESTER HOLT: You know, we've seen these sorts of things play out with politicians in the past. Very often it's a death spiral as the drivel drivel of information comes out, and eventually they crash and burn. You heard the poll numbers there. That doesn't seem to be the case with Cain. Is that so much a judgment on him as it is the media and how we're covering this?

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, it's a little bit of both, but this is a different candidate and a different environment. You got to understand who he appeals to, why his numbers are so high in the Republican Party. He's got this ultraconservative base who actually hate the media even more than the general population.

And we don't have a particularly good standing with the rest of the population, either, but, with this particular block, the more he's attacked or perceived to be attacked by the media, the more he faces these persistent questions about his behavior, the more popular he gets, the more fundraising he can do.

So toughing this out with with this particular crowd - and that's important in these early states like Iowa or South Carolina - that's great for him. With the general population, though, with other voters, the more moderate centrist Republicans who will be the key to winning the nomination in the bigger states - Florida, California - that's where he's going to see erosions.