The Romney-Perry battle — The latest poll from CNN released on Monday finds the Republican nominating race holding about steady with Texas Gov. Rick Perry topping former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney by 28 to 21 percent. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich picked up a little steam, rising to 10 percent, his first time in double digits. All others are in single digits, with former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and Rep. Ron Paul both slipping out of double digits. While Perry continues to hold the advantage in the nominating contest, Romney continues to look stronger than other GOP challengers in a general election match-up at 48 percent to 49 percent for President Obama among registered voters. Perry trails Obama by 46 to 51 percent. Romney is seen as the most presidential of the potential candidates; 60 percent think he “has the personality and leadership qualities a president should have.” Only 47 percent say the same of Perry.

Florida straw poll ≠ representative survey of voters — Businessman Herman Cain won a hardy 37 percent of votes in Florida’s straw poll of Republican activists in the state. Regardless of the hype, don’t expect Cain to be the front runner in the next representative statewide poll. His showing is a far cry from the 7 percent of registered voters who supported him in the latest statewide Quinnipiac poll, and the disparity is another clear example highlighted by our friends at the Fix of the folly of reading much into polls of state party activists.

More than eight in 10 dissatisfied with government — In the latest round of sour poll numbers for Washington, a record high 81 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the way the nation is governed, according to a Gallup poll released Monday. Beyond the institutions, a 53 percent majority now has little confidence in the men and women holding public office, upending a long-term trend in which most Americans gave positive ratings to politicians as people.

Where to get local news — Tuning into the news at 11 is hardly a surprising source for local news. But the second most common source for local goings-on happens to be friends, neighbors and other local gossips according to a report from the Pew Research Center. Nearly three-quarters say they use local TV news broadcasts at least once a week to get local news and information. Another 55 percent say that at least once a week they get this type of information “via word of mouth from family, friends, co-workers and neighbors.” Just about as commonly used are the radio and local newspapers.

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