“People are pretty satisfied with what they’ve heard,” Clovis said. “If he said he didn’t do it, and it appears that his explanation is that he recused himself and the general counsel and the human resources director came in and investigated and they cleared him, and that’s the end of it. I’ve been down this road myself. When he said that, I said, ‘Hell yeah, that’s exactly what you do.’”

Gregg Cummings, the Tea Party Patriots’ Iowa state coordinator, said among tea partiers the story of Cain’s sexual harassment allegations pales in comparison to the desire to have a conservative — “not Romney” — win the caucuses and the nomination.

“Hardly anybody is talking about it,” he said. “It’s not a big issue, in other words. I think the urgency of making sure that we get a conservative candidate to win the primaries is of greater concern to most of the tea party folks right now.”

The allegations against Cain aren’t resonating in Iowa because Republicans here are veterans of campaign politics and will reserve judgment until the story is more complete, said Bob Vander Plaats, the social conservative leader and 2010 gubernatorial candidate.