The sequel to her now-famous assertion at CPAC that if Christie doesn’t jump in, Romney’s nomination and eventual defeat in the general election are a fait accompli. I’m not sure what she means here vis-a-vis Palin, beyond it being a complimentary way to avoid a straight answer on why she thinks Romney is bound to defeat her in the primaries. Running would be a step down because Palin’s so much larger than life that the office isn’t big enough? Or because she can make a lot more bank in the private sector than on a $400,000 presidential salary? Somehow, I think Palinistas will find that unconvincing, especially now that Kos’s pollster has her leading in a new state, namely, New Mexico.

Meanwhile, in the money primary of New Hampshire:

The poll shows 40 percent of likely Republican primary voters would vote for Romney, 10 percent would vote for former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 7 percent favor former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and 7 percent support former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Another 6 percent prefer former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, 6 percent favor 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, 5 percent support U.S. Rep. and 2008 candidate Ron Paul, 3 percent support businessman Donald Trump, 1 percent favor former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and 1 percent prefer Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour…

Romney also has the highest favorability ratings of the potential candidates. Currently, 73 percent of likely Republican voters said they have a favorable opinion of him. Romney’s net favorability, the percentage having a favorable opinion minus the percentage of those with an unfavorable opinion, is 57 percent…

The least popular Republicans are Palin at minus-17 percent and Trump at minus-43 percent. Barbour has a net favorability of minus 1 percent, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is at minus-1 percent and former New Mexico Gov Gary Johnson is at minus-5 percent.

Minor surprises: Giuliani in second (distantly) and T-Paw showing a spark of life in the state he’ll be targeting for a Romney upset. Also surprising is Mitch Daniels being completely off the grid. I know his name recognition is low right now, but surely politically active Republicans with their eye on 2012 have heard of him. Especially since New Hampshire’s the state where he’ll be looking to make his mark. Maybe the pollster didn’t include him as an option? I can’t find the crosstabs at the link.

Or maybe Republicans are already realizing that Daniels won’t run. I keep hearing that it’s unlikely both he and Barbour will jump in — they’re good enough friends that it’ll probably be one or the other — and Barbour sure looks like he’s ready. He’s an impressive guy and I have nothing against him, but honestly, I don’t understand the rationale for his candidacy in this cycle of all cycles. The GOP is trying to remake its brand, yes? Tea party, greater diversity, new fiscal responsibility, anti-Beltway, etc. So, the guy we’re going to run for president is … a former RNC chair turned lobbyist from the deep south? Really? I can see him at the bottom of the ticket paired with someone like Romney and Daniels who needs a little vicarious southern cred, but at the top? Really?