Thursday, September 29, 2011

The GOP race and the power of irrational thinking

The GOP race and the power of irrational thinking:

The fact that Rick Perry has been enduring a bad-to-terrible few weeks means that Mitt Romney has been enjoying a good-to-great few weeks.

When Perry burst into the race last month and immediately surged to the head of the GOP pack, there was a strong sense in the political world that Mitt's jig might finally be up. But now conventional wisdom is rapidly swinging back Romney's way. A new poll from Iowa even shows Romney back in first place -- and Perry running in third, a point behind Michele Bachmann.

Romney's durability is prompting some understandable confusion. For more than a year now, we've heard that his Massachusetts healthcare law -- which included an individual mandate and which served as the blueprint for "ObamaCare," and for which Romney refuses to apologize -- makes him absolute poison to the Obama-era GOP.

And yet he's surviving -- and it really shouldn't be all that surprising. Romney's endurance serves as a fine illustration of how fundamentally illogical public opinion really is, and to the backward-working way that most people actually form their opinions.

(Excerpt)

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