The governor of Texas, Rick Perry, has jumped into the race for the Republican nomination for President, and -- according to Public Policy Polling -- instantly made it a two-person race. They say he's looking like "the favorite" for the nomination.
This has alarmed moderate Republicans, all three or four of them, including Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman, but maybe believers in the theories of evolution and global warming should be reassured.
[video cartoon from Ann Telnaes of the Washington Post]
In our current state of economic misery, all GOP candidates are within striking distance of Obama, but according to PPP, Perry loses the moderates, which dooms his chances.
In our first national poll pitting the two Obama leads Perry 49-43. That six point advantage is pretty comparable to Obama's margin of victory over John McCain. Perry has certainly come on strong with Republicans but independents view him negatively already by an almost 2:1 margin, 29/55, and Democrats pretty universally give him bad ratings at a 10/71 spread. As a result Obama leads Perry thanks in large part to a 24 point advantage with independents at 56-32.
David Frum, a conservative and former speechwriter for George Bush, has written that disbelief in human-caused climate change has become "a litmus test" for GOP candidates for President, and Rush Limbaugh agrees, telling Romney that he can say "bye bye" to the nomination for proclaiming his faith in science.
Strange that an issue that has so little salience to the American people, according to lots of recent polling, should become so -- apparently -- decisive.
Too good to be true?