The 2012 Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial race has been noth­ing if not enter­tain­ing, as the writ­ers for The Dai­ly Show with Jon Stew­art will undoubt­ed­ly attest.

A new poll com­mis­sioned by Roger Ailes’ Fox Noise net­work, con­duct­ed from Sep­tem­ber 25–27, finds that Mitt Rom­ney is now the fron­trun­ner for the Repub­li­can nom­i­na­tion. The poll showed Rom­ney at 23 per­cent, Texas Gov­er­nor Rick Per­ry at 19 per­cent, and for­mer God­fa­ther’s Piz­za CEO Her­man Cain in third with 17 per­cent.  Fox had Per­ry ahead with 29 per­cent almost three weeks ago. At the time, Rom­ney had 22 per­cent, while Her­man Cain was not in the top five.

Next week, the for­mer Mass­a­chu­setts gov­er­nor will take the stage at the annu­al Val­ues Vot­ers Sum­mit, an event orga­nized by a group of reli­gious right-wing lead­ers and activists. Among those expect­ed to be in atten­dance is Bryan Fis­ch­er, the issues direc­tor of the Amer­i­can Fam­i­ly Asso­ci­a­tion, who could prob­a­bly con­tend for the title of most big­ot­ed polit­i­cal oper­a­tive. Here’s Moth­er Jones:

He has said that Mus­lims should be banned from serv­ing in the mil­i­tary; that a whale at Sea World should have been stoned to death for killing its train­er; that inbreed­ing makes Mus­lims stu­pid and vio­lent; and that gay sex is a form of domes­tic ter­ror­ism. So nat­u­ral­ly, he has been invit­ed to speak to a huge gath­er­ing of con­ser­v­a­tive polit­i­cal activists this week­end, along­side such GOP lumi­nar­ies as Rick San­to­rum, Mike Huck­abee, Mitt Rom­ney, Sen. Jim DeMint (R‑S.C.), and Rep. Michele Bach­mann (R‑Minn.).

Rick Per­ry, con­sid­ered by the media to be Rom­ney’s most for­mi­da­ble rival, once talked about Texas seced­ing from the union, but he recent­ly denied ever using the word seces­sion in an appear­ance on Sean Han­ni­ty’s show.

When Han­ni­ty asked why his use of the word was so heav­i­ly report­ed he replied, “I have no idea, to be real hon­est with you, because it was nev­er a real­ly fac­tu­al piece of report­ing. It was shout­ed out by an indi­vid­ual at an event — at a Tea Par­ty, actu­al­ly — and I said ‘Lis­ten, Amer­i­ca is a great coun­try. We have no rea­son why we would ever dis­solve this union.’ ”

Per­ry has also dis­avowed a book he wrote only a few months ago — a con­ser­v­a­tive man­i­festo titled “Fed Up”. A cam­paign spokesman has claimed the book “is not meant to reflect the gov­er­nor’s cur­rent views.” What the spokesman real­ly meant to say is that the book was con­ceived and pub­lished before Per­ry real­ized he want­ed to be a pres­i­den­tial candidate.

Are these guys the best the Repub­li­can Par­ty can do? Their field looks pret­ty weak. No won­der much of the par­ty’s base seems to be pin­ing for anoth­er can­di­date they can ral­ly around. If they could some­how res­ur­rect Ronald Rea­gan and run him against Pres­i­dent Oba­ma, they prob­a­bly would.

About the author

Wes Murry is a progressive democrat and student at Olympia High School. He is the founder of the OHS Democrats Club, where he currently serves as president. In his spare time, Wes volunteers with Thurston County Democrats and Denny Heck For Congress. He also covers the Mariners, Sounders, Trailblazers, and SuperSonics with Bleacher Report, Seattle Sports Nut, and Yahoo Sports.

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