What Sarah Palin and Chris Christie have in common

Given her name recognition, Palin’s net favorable rating should be about +54 percent; she’s about 30 percentage points, or three standard deviations, off the pace. Christie’s net favorable rating, by comparison, is 25 percentage points below what you’d expect from an eventual nominee. No previous nominee has been more than 10 percentage points or one standard deviation below what would have been expected.

Palin’s big problem, not surprisingly, is from the moderates in her party. In a July 2013 Gallup survey, her net favorable rating among moderate and liberal Republicans stood at a bargain-basement low of -11 percentage points. No matter how strong Palin is among conservatives, it’s pretty much impossible for her to overcome her unpopularity with the GOP’s center.

Palin is stronger than Christie in one respect. Christie’s net favorable rating in a June 2014 Gallup survey was only +19 among moderate and liberal Republicans, and just +5 among conservative Republicans. That is, he wasn’t popular with either wing of the party.