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.

Paging Rick Perry's Texas Doctors

Texas Gov. Rick Perry claims to have lured many doctors to Texas, some of the many jobs he claims to have created. (The media's treatment of which we've touched on here.) At the same time, a friend on the board of a local community health center says they cannot find doctors to staff it—there is an insufficient supply at the wage they have always been paying. How can this be consistent with Perry’s claim?

One possibility is that the reduction in malpractice insurance costs raised the net wage in the private sector relative to the public sector. Even if Perry’s claim is correct, there may be more doctors than before, but relative supply may have shifted to the private sector, leading to a shortage in the public sector.

The Osama Spike on Obama's Re-Election Chances, Per InTrade

Here it is:

These things don't last long, do they? Meanwhile, Rick Perry has a better chance of winning the GOP's nomination (29%) than Rupert Murdoch has of being booted by year's end (20%).