Much like a Russian opera, the GOP presidential pageant thus far has been a cycle of Republican stalwarts gushing enthusiasm for some new savior, then quickly souring on said savior. Sarah Palin, Rep. Michele Bachmann (MN) , Mitch Daniels, and Jon Huntsman have all gone from rising to fading star at some point or another.
Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry to the conga line of enchantment-dashers.
All through the voter volatility, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney remained the GOP's unsatisfactory default setting.
Warming up in the bullpen, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had become the most recent heart-throb du jour, even though Perry hadn't had a chance to unpin his corsage and take off his prom dress.
But, the most interesting polling information of late came from the Washington Post/Pew Research Center Poll taken Sept. 22-25, confirming yet again that everyone in fact did see the glaringly obvious.
A plurality of Americans believed Republicans were doing more to help the haves rather than the have-nots. Of all respondents, 47% believed the GOP favored the haves, 7% believed the GOP favored the have-nots, and 32% believed Republicans treated both about the same.
Broken down by party affiliation, 72% of Democrats and 46% of Independents figured Republicans were for the rich, while just 20% of Republicans viewed themselves that way. 60% of Republicans felt they were the fairest of all, treating everyone equally.
Meanwhile, folks were telling The Economist/YouGov Poll Sept. 24-27 that the Obama Administration cared about the poor and middle classes, while Republicans cared more for the rich.
53% of respondents felt the Obama Administration was either Very or Somewhat Concerned about issues that affected poor people, while 32% felt the Obama Administration was either Not Very or Not At All Concerned about issues that affected the poor.
People believed Republicans were the Obama Administration's polar opposite, with 33% saying the GOP was either Very of Somewhat Concerned for the poor, while 52% said Republicans were either Not Very or Not At All Concerned for the poor.
Regarding the middle class, 48% thought the Obama Administration was Very/Somewhat Concerned, and 37% Not Very/Not At All Concerned. Again, the GOP was seen as it's antithesis, with 39% believing Republicans Very/Somewhat Concerned for the middle class, and 47% believing Republicans Not Very/Not At All Concerned for the middle class.
When it came to coddling the rich, 46% thought the Obama Administration was Very/Somewhat Concerned about offending upper-class sensitivities, and 36% thought the Obama Administration was Not Very/Not At All Concerned about the rich.
However, a whopping 73% felt Republicans were Very or Somewhat Concerned about the rich, with a majority, 52%, saying Very Concerned for the rich. Only 6% said Republicans were Not At All Concerned for the rich.
52% of the same respondents told The Economist/YouGov they favored raising taxes on those making $250,000 or more a year, and 68% said they favored raising taxes on those making $1 million or more a year, in line with numerous previous polls asking similar questions.
Among those who didn't favor raising taxes on those making gazillions of dollars a year, three new polls revealed the Russian opera angst with their choices to carry the elephant banner against President Barack Obama next fall.
In a situation somehow evocative of the old saw about the two diners at the restaurant where the first one said, "This food isn't very good," to which the second replied "Yes, and the portions are so small," Fox News found that while 50% of respondents felt Obama would lose his re-election bid versus 40% who figured he'd win, only 38% were either Very Impressed or Somewhat Impressed with the current Republican candidates, while 58% were either Not Very or Not At All Impressed with the GOP hopefuls.
Fox News found that the sheen had come off Perry. Awkward performances at recent GOP presidential debates having taken that nice fresh-off-the-showroom new-candidate smell off Perry, and he was the choice of just 19% of Republicans Fox News polled.
Good ol' reliable Mitt Romney plugged along as the choice of 23% of those queried by Fox News. But, Romney had polled at 26% in the same poll in July and August. While Perry had tanked a bit, Romney hadn't prospered. Along with former pizza mogul Herman Cain's recent victory at the Florida Straw Poll, one had to wonder exactly what sort of front-runner Romney was supposed to be.
Cain himself seemed to have gained where Perry had lost, climbing to 17%, with Newt Gingrich (11%), Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) (6%), Jon Huntsman (4%), Bachmann (3%) and Rick Santorum (3%) rounding out the field.
The Economist/YouGov poll gave angst-ridden Republicans more choices, and the field flattened even further. Romney still led, but with only 15%, tied with Christie, followed by Perry (14%), Cain (11%), Palin (8%), Gingrich, Paul and Rudy Guiliani (6%), Bachmann (4%) and Santorum and Huntsman (2%).
CNN/ORC found folks kinder to Perry, holding a narrow lead at 28%, followed by Romney at 21%, Gingrich at 10%, Cain, Palin and Paul tied at 7%, Bachmann at 4%, Santorum at 3% and Huntsman at 1%
For the championship round, CNN/ORC now showed Obama leading all comers, outpacing Romney 49%-48%, Perry 51%-46%, Paul 51%-47%, Bachmann 54%-42%, and Palin 58%-37%.
Everyone kept saying it was still very, very early, which it was, but most people who say that were usually discounting their favorite team being eight games behind at the All Star Break. And, most of those teams never won the World Series. Unless they were the Yankees.
Er, sorry about that, Mitt.