Obama at a new polling low in the Economist/YouGov poll: “ 36% approve of the way he is handing his job overall, the lowest rating ever in the two and a half years of his Presidency.”

Get ready for a new front-runner. Byron York reports on GOP dissatisfaction with Texas Gov. Rick Perry. One voter: “The more I hear about him, the more I think he’s just a flash in the pan. I don’t think he’s going to make it in the long run.”

The new phase of the campaign: Will New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie run? “With the party’s front-runner sagging, Chris Christie is reconsidering pleas from Republican elites and donors to run for president in 2012, two Republican sources told Politico. The New Jersey governor has indicated he is listening to big-money backers and Republican influence-makers and will let them know in roughly a week whether he has moved off his threat-of-suicide vow to stay on the sidelines of a presidential race that remains amorphous heading into the fall, the two sources said.”

The new consensus, as enunciated by Mike Huckabee: “Rick Perry’s got a struggle ahead of him. . . . He just looked dumbfounded” [in the debate].

New jobs, same thugs. “Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin, who transformed post-Soviet Russia by imposing Kremlin control over most aspects of public life, moved on Saturday to return to the presidency and could remain until 2024, giving him a rule comparable in length with that of Brezhnev or Stalin.”

New respect for Mitt Romney. “He continues his string of very impressive debates. I will repeat what I’ve said before: His improvement as a candidate from 2008 to now is striking. He’s well-prepared, confident and reassuring. He doesn’t make many unforced errors. And with each outing he’s winning new converts. If the election were held today, Romney would defeat President Obama, probably in something close to a landslide. And that matters a great deal to Republican primary voters.”

Nothing new in the Middle East. “Israel Offers Peace — Again.”