Two items from new polls.
The first, from Public Policy Polling, queried Republican primary voters on their preferences. It reports that Michele Bachmann is now running even with or perhaps slightly ahead of Mitt Romney in a head-to-head race.
The Minnesota congresswoman maintains that standing when gauged against the full field:
It’s still very early, but a lot of mainstream Republicans have to be appalled by those numbers. With the circus underway in Washington and the popularity of Bachmann — a candidate who would be a fringe player in ordinary times — the Grand Old Party of Dwight Eisenhower and even Ronald Reagan has slipped its moorings.
It’s also interesting to note that although 57 percent of Republicans still have a favorable view of Sarah Palin (compared with 32 percent unfavorable), most don’t want her to run for president.
The second poll, from the Washington Post and ABC News, gets at a question critical to how the debt-ceiling debate is likely to play out.
According to the poll, Obama is seen as the defender of middle-class American families, while the GOP is seen as the champion of Wall Street and corporations.
– Jay Bookman