How low will President Obama’s poll numbers go?

How long until the first GOP votes? Not very. “Iowa’s caucus date will be Jan. 3 under a tentative agreement that will be formally voted on around Oct. 16, a GOP central committee member said . . . .

How fast would the race end if Mitt Romney won Iowa? “A moderate Republican candidate may end up winning the Iowa caucuses, a long-time political observer says, despite the state’s strong social conservative base of voters. David Yepsen, a former political reporter who spent 34 years at the Des Moines Register, said there’s a very possible scenario in which Mitt Romney wins the caucuses, the New Hampshire primary and the Republican nomination.” The trick is in not looking like he’s trying to win Iowa so if he doesn’t it’s not a blow.

How high is the unemployment going to be on Election Day? Probably more than 9 percent. “The economy needs 200,000 to 250,000 new jobs per month to expand, . . . [the] manager of the world’s biggest bond fund said in a radio interview. . . . Payrolls climbed by 103,000 workers after a revised 57,000 increase the prior month that was more than originally estimated, Labor Department data showed . . . . The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a rise of 60,000. The gain reflected the return to work of 45,000 telecommunications employees. The jobless rate held at 9.1 percent.”

How far we’ve come since 2008. Presidential candidate Herman Cain’s “supporters also cite his inspirational life story, his accomplishments as a business executive, his successful battle against cancer. As noteworthy is what they do not harp on, which is his race. Obviously people notice that Mr. Cain is black, but it doesn’t appear to be a factor in his soaring popularity. This is progress. A significant part of Mr. Obama’s appeal in 2008 was the color of his skin. Supporters were willing to overlook his lack of executive experience and any number of other significant shortcomings in order to elect the first black president. The 2012 contest will tell us whether the country is done patting itself on the back. Let’s hope so, because the Obama presidency to date is nothing if not a harsh lesson in the perils of identity politics.”

How soon do you think we’ll have another “recovery”? “White House officials are using a new set of talking points to sell their stimulus plan: The economy’s possible slide into a second recession. During the summer, officials denied a double-dip recession was on the horizon. But . . . President Barack Obama and his deputies said the $447 billion jobs-stimulus bill is needed to prevent a ‘double-dip recession.’ ”

How deep into the gutter will Lawrence O’Donnell go? If you have a sturdy stomach, take a look at him accusing Cain of evading the draft.

How vast the contrast in humanity between the Mormon-bashing introduction for Texas Gov. Rick Perry and the remarkable life story of Rick Santorum?