A host of new polls provide new perspective on the 2012 election and how America sees the nation’s economic woes. To the polls! (as always, tweet @postpolls and #pollwatch to sound off on new polls here and elsewhere)

Perry down; GOP excited for 2012, but not for Christie - After rocketing to the top of polls for the GOP nomination in August, Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped from 29 to 19 percent in a new Fox News poll of registered Republicans. The poll also finds businessman Herman Cain and former House speaker Newt Gingrich surging to 17 and 11 percent, respectively, while Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) hits a new low at 3 percent. Perry’s numbers seem to be quite fluid, as he won 30 percent in a CNN poll conducted over the weekend that overlapped one day with Fox. Gallup finds Republicans more excited about 2012 than Dems, a reversal from polls in early 2008.

Despite the media hubbub over New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), the aforementioned Fox News poll finds lukewarm reaction to a presidential bid from the New Jersey governor outside the Beltway. While 32 percent of registered voters say he should run, 39 percent say he shouldn’t (28 percent don’t know). Republicans are more hopeful than others – four in 10 say he should run – but 33 percent of GOP loyalists prefer that Christie sit out the race.

Consumer and investor confidence on the brink - The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index hit -53 this week on a scale of -100 to +100, one point off the all-time low. In a separate survey released Thursday, 68 percent of international investors subscribing to Bloomberg say the global economy is deteriorating, 27 percent say it is stable while 5 percent think it’s improving. That’s a stark turnaround from May, when 18 percent thought the global economy was deteriorating.

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