It was a rhetorical title/question when I wrote it last week, but now we have a temporary answer. The results of the latest Gallup poll of Republicans and Republican leaning voters showing Rick Perry opening up a commanding 12 point lead over Mittens will be sliced and diced all day by the usual suspects. The controversial Texas Governor earned 29% as opposed to Romney’s 17% score. Growing crosstabs and history show Perry with the big mo. Ron Paul and Michelle Bachmann round out the top four with 13% and 10% respectively.
Most of that pseudo-analysis and spin doctoring will be between the front runners. Is Perry stealing from Bachmann (Probably), does Paul have a chance (Nope), will Sarah Palin jump in (Hilarious!)? Momentum is fickle, flavor of the day, yada-yada-yada. True, the idea Rick Perry could actually have a shot at being president is surreal. But I’m interested here on the bottom rungs of Gallup’s snapshot.
The only avowed science candidate, Jon Huntsman, finished at 1%. After admitting the same discipline that gave us electricity, penicillin, and moon rocks might have a point about evolution and climate change, Huntsman earned a paltry one point. No upward movement whatsoever for affirming the obvious value of science, in fact he went down a point from July. Huntsman finished three points behind serial political grifter Newt Freakin Gingrich.
Mittens suffered too, mostly from Perry’s divine entry splash, and we can infer from today’s results that Romney’s tacit acceptance of biology and physics didn’t help in any measurable way. On the other hand, implying a magic invisible sky wizard — who incidentally hates what anyone says about any other magic invisible sky wizards and holds an awfully expedient preference for hard-right ideology — personally chose a candidate to lead us into the End Days did help.
When the history of this era is written, people — or their AI-organic sci-fi descendents — may look back and conclude this is the point where a big chunk of America lost its collective mind.