Is Palin a first-tier candidate?

With electability rising as a concern among Republican voters, the fact that she trails President Obama by 21 points in a head-to-head matchup — the largest margin of any GOP candidate — is yet more bad news for Palin…

Palin allies will note that she is not yet in the race and that people tend to be hesitant to support someone who isn’t running. That will change, they argue, if she gets in.

Maybe. But unlike Cain or even Paul, is there anyone who either a) doesn’t know Palin or b) doesn’t have an opinion about her?

While she would undoubtedly blot out the sun when it comes to media coverage — especially in the early days of her candidacy — it’s hard to see how all of that coverage (and there would a A LOT of it) would or could fundamentally alter the impression people already have of her.