Mitt Romney is back in the number-one spot in another poll. “Mitt Romney has a growing lead in the race for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, and almost half of the party’s voters expect him to be the nominee, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Twenty-eight percent of Republicans backed the former Massachusetts governor, giving him a lead of 8 percentage points over his nearest challenger Herman Cain in the poll, taken November 10-11. Romney was 5 percentage points ahead in a survey November 7-8. Newt Gingrich, the U.S. House of Representatives speaker in the mid-1990s, solidified a recent rise among conservatives seeking an alternative to the more moderate Romney, coming in third place in the current poll with 16 percent.”

The two sides are far apart. “ ‘We still have time, but we have no time to waste,’ Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) said on Fox News. ‘It’s at a difficult point. I think we’ve got a ways to go, but I hope we can close that gap.’ . . . Disagreement over the size of cuts to entitlement programs and whether to boost revenues to the federal government have complicated the deliberations.”

For three years we’ve heard him insult the country he leads. The latest: “President Obama said that the United States has gotten a ‘little bit lazy’ when it comes to bringing in new businesses in to the states. He made the comments at a CEO summit as part of the APEC conference Saturday, when asked by Boeing CEO James McNerney about looking at the world from a Chinese perspective and what they might consider as impediments to investing.”

Four? “In the national NBC/WSJ poll (conducted Nov. 2-5), Cain and Romney were essentially deadlocked in the race for the GOP presidential nomination. And among these 102 Republican respondents, Cain was the first choice of 28 percent of them, while Romney, the former Massachusetts governors, was the choice of 27 percent. They were followed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 17 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul at 10 percent and Perry at 8 percent. But in the re-survey of these 102 Republican respondents, Romney’s support jumped up to 32 percent, Cain’s dropped to 27 percent and Gingrich’s increased to 22 percent. . . . And Perry fell to just 4 percent.”

Sometimes a mother of five (and 23 foster kids) has the most honest take. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) on the Penn State sexual abuse horror. “If that was my child, my automatic reaction would be, even though I’m a small woman, I want to find that guy and beat him to a pulp.” No Michael Dukakis is she.

I could see him slipping all the way to number six in Iowa, behind Romney, Gingrich, Bachmann, Rick Santorum and Paul. The Des Moines Register on Saturday’s debate: “Not a single question was asked about Cain’s sexual-harassment controversy, but he couldn’t hide his inch-deep understanding of military and foreign-policy issues. He couldn’t decide whether Pakistan is a friend or foe, and he again expressed confusion about where the U.S. stands in Afghanistan. He even said he’d defer to military commanders to define torture, which is a disturbing level of detachment for a commander-in-chief.”

Romney has a point in saying the White House is “obsessed” with him: With seven other targets to choose from, the White House goes only after him. “[T]he Democrats referenced Mitt Romney in 24 of the 31 posts on their debate watch commentary website. No other GOP candidate was mentioned by name. . . . In recent weeks, the DNC has released 26 attack videos on their YouTube channels. Unsurprisingly, all 26 videos have only one target — Mitt Romney.”