This is, of course, highly unsurprising: it is April of 2011. While the true start of election cycles have been notoriously creeping further and further back for some time now, the major reason why anybody's talking seriously about the 2012 election at this point is because President Obama rather desperately announced exceptionally early so that he could officially fund-raise*. This means that those parts of the media that are actually covering the election are more or less stuck pretending that it's September of 2011 (which is still a little early, but such is the custom of the country); after all, the President thinks that it's election time, so shouldn't everybody else?
...Apparently not. Pew reports that currently 20% of the population is following the GOP Presidential nomination process closely, and that 4% consider it to be the top story. For comparison: both numbers are ranked sixth; the top stories continue to be the Japan earthquake (38% following closely, 26% consider top story) and oil/gas prices (53%/22%). Combine that with the surprising detail that the media isn't actually covering the election that much (2% of the media coverage focuses on the GOP primaries; the top media coverage is easily the deficit/national debt at 31%), and you end up with what is a spectacularly... no, not "uninformed." What we have is a spectacularly uninterested electorate when it comes to the 2012 elections.
Which means? First, it means that people should not be surprised when various polling reveals that the Republican front-runners are all folks that voters have already heard of. Second, it means that anybody who wants to tell you that the current state of the race is an indicator of anything, including the current state of the race, is almost certainly operating with an agenda. Which certainly includes me; only my agenda is to get people to stop talking about the GOP nomination (which is what the Democrats want us to be focusing on) and get back to talking about jobs, the deficit, and the economy (which is what the Democrats don't want us to focus on)...
Moe Lane (crosspost)