Just to keep you up-to-date with all the latest tail swats and whinnies coming from the 2012 presidential horse race …

The Iowa State poll of likely caucus-goers has Herman Cain leading at 25%, Ron Paul running a hard second with 20% and Mitt Romney trailing respectably in third with 16%. But the surprise dark horse coming out of the Iowa cornfields is “Can’t Decide” in fourth place beating out “outsider” Rick Perry and straw poll winner Michele Bachmann.  From GlobeGazette’s Poll: GOP race up for grabs in Iowa

“Can’t decide” polled 8.1 percent — more than Texas Gov. Rick Perry (7.9 percent), Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachman (7.6 percent), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (4.8 percent) and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (4.7 percent). Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who has not campaigned in Iowa, received no support. “Other” polled 5.8 percent.

But with 44 days to go until the Iowa caucus, the race horses are showing the strain…

The now camera-shy and newly protected by Secret Service leader, Cain, seemed off stride and distracted by a higher calling at the Holy Land Experience in Florida on Friday.

“This feels like a pulpit, and I am a preacher,” Cain said from his spot on the auditorium stage. “It’s just a natural thing when I get in this setting.”

Holding strong in second place, Ron Paul’s mild mannered midnight ride warning of “The Fed” and the debt has won him a loyal following, but it has yet to liberate him from the obscuring fly on the MSM’s lens.

Third placed Mitt Romney, who has been hugging the rails fearful that the careful jockeying of his epic run for the White House may yet slip on the blank pages of his records as governor, slid on Mitt/ObamaCare, or stumble on his unpardonable compassion as a careful leader, has now decided to make a bold play for a strong finish in Iowa by focusing on … the economy.

But smart money is betting on a “Can’t Decide” surge in Iowa, after all “Can’t Decide” is now running in fourth and is the fallback choice of 22% .

But hard on the hoofs of the Iowa caucus is the New Hampshire primary.  There the race has Romney (29%) and Gingrich (27%) in a dead heat.   But Gingrich seems to be struggling to push past Romney’s well-groomed canter.  Could it be the extra weight of “non-lobbyist” consulting fees for health care and Freddie Mac in his saddlebag?   Not willing to fade away, Gingrich is “Setting the Record Straight” on 16 issues and distinguishing himself as the anti-Clinton candidate (an adulterer, without the perjury).  From Answering the Attacks | Newt Gingrich 2012 :

“he [Gingrich] had admitted to having an extramarital affair during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.  What these accusers are ignoring is that the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton were due to the fact that the president committed perjury in front of a sitting federal judge, which is a felony.”

The end of the primary race is 8 months away.  Plenty of time for anything and everything to happen.

Will Gingrich continue to rise?  Or will he come up lame like Bachmann, Perry and Cain before him?  Can a long shot still breakaway from the back of the pack?  Will social conservatism be enough to move Rick Santorum ahead?  Has Romney captured too much of the well-groomed Mormon politician vote for Huntsman to become a front runner or even catch up with main pack?  Will Roemer and Johnson ever get the racing officials to open the gates and the media to remove their blinders?  Or will they switch fields to run among the Independents and  Libertarians?

Officially President Obama runs alone in the Democratic primary race, but his PAC funding is down.

Earlier this year, Bill Burton left the White House to help create a pro-Obama fund-raising group with a goal of raising $100 million, aiming to mimic the success of recent Republican efforts.

So far, he’s falling short.

Many of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors aren’t planning to support his organization, either because they’re unhappy with Mr. Obama or disillusioned with politics in general. There’s also this fund-raising fact of life: Wealthy donors are more likely to open up their wallets to defeat a sitting president than to protect one.

Anyone else see the shadow racer, “Don’t Want”, flanking both Obama and the Republican pack?  And could “Don’t Want” take the lead in both parties and hold it?