If Herman Cain or Mitt Romney were a sixth grader ...

A focus group in Cincinnati, Ohio, was asked how elementary school classmates would describe the GOP candidates. Herman Cain was described as "Respected Friend." How did they describe Mitt Romney, and the rest?

By , DCDecoder

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    GOP presidential candidates Herman Cain and Mitt Romney at the start of the CNN debate in Las Vegas, Nevada, earlier this month.
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If each of the GOP presidential candidates were in an elementary school class, what type of classmate would they be?

Decoder listened in on a focus group of a dozen voters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Monday evening, where the conversation ranged from Herman Cain (who “intrigued” nearly all the participants) to Occupy Wall St. (which evoked a general positive feeling, although not unanimous) to Barack Obama’s term in office (with responses all over the map.)

But perhaps most concisely pinning down how voters feel about the 2012 candidates was the aforementioned simple question from moderator Peter Hart of Hart Research, orchestrating the focus group on behalf of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. Without further ado:

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Barack Obama: Know-it-all

Herman Cain: Respected Friend

Mitt Romney: Rich Kid - one panelist going so far as to say “He is the 1 percent.”

Rick Perry: The Bully.

Hillary Clinton: Split between “Teacher’s Pet” and “Hard Worker”

Newt Gingrich: The Nerd.

This exercise reminds DCDecoder of a survey by the Pew Research Center and Washington Post, which we reported on previously. It asked 1,007 people to describe the three leading GOP presidential candidates in one word. The results are indicative of the marketing challenges some candidates face, and the strengths of others.

Herman Cain: 9-9-9 (followed by "business," and "interesting")

Mitt Romney: "Mormon" (followed by "health care" and "flip flop")

Rick Perry: "Texas" (followed by "no," and "idiot")

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