Is Mitt Romney Less Well-Known Than He Was in 2007?

According to a new Pew Research Center poll, while 54 percent of Americans are able to name at least one GOP presidential candidate, the leading candidates aren't named as often as in previous years. Only 27 percent of Americans named Mitt Romney and only 28 percent named Rick Perry. That's below the same measure taken four years ago in October 2007, when 45 percent could name Rudy Giuliani and 30 percent could name Romney. So, well into his second campaign for president, Romney is now less well-known than he was four years ago, when he ran the first time around. Not exactly encouraging.

Also, it's interesting that Perry is still more recognizable than Romney, despite having fallen in the polls recently -- especially since Perry got into the race only about two months ago, and Romney's been running for much of the last four years. Chalk it up to the Texas swagger versus consultant technocrat?

Day After the Debate: Intrade Odds of Republican Candidates Securing Presidential Nomination

Today, it seems that everyone has their own opinion on who helped themselves and who didn't in last night's Republican presidential candidates' debate. And consensus is hard to come by, even in the same news room.

Take the Washington Post, for example. On its PostPartisan blog, first Richard Cohen wants us to think that Rick Perry was the "Big Loser" of the night. But then 90 minutes later, his colleague Marc Thiessen weighs in saying that Perry "had a very good night." Rather than relying on Beltway journalists to decide won and who lost, I figured: why not see what the market is saying? So I headed over to Intrade to take a look at the odds for who will wind up as the 2012 Republican Presidential Nominee.

It does appear that Perry is slipping after last night's debate. Even in the time it took me to put this blog post together, he's lost a percentage point, going from 37.5% to 36.4%. While Mitt Romney has remained even so far today at 36.3%. These markets are of course fluid, but here's a snapshot of the current Intrade odds for each candidate at last night's debate, and how they've moved over the last week.

The Mere Sight of an American Flag Can Shift Voters Republican

As if we needed more evidence that people often fail to practice rational, thoughtful analysis in making a decision. A new study by Travis Carter at the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finds that people who are briefly exposed to the American flag shift toward Republican beliefs.

Abstract inside; full version here.