According to a new Quinnipiac University survey of 2,400 registered voters, the electorate has no idea who the two-term Mississippi Governor is. 75% of Americans (73% of Republicans, 74% of Independents & 76% of Democrats) have not heard enough of Barbour to come up with an opinion of the man. He appeared all across the Country for Republican Gubernatorial candidates last month, perhaps the main reason many Americans are aware of him today.
So what does this mean for the popular Southern Republican Governor?
Not much if you think about it. Sarah Palin was an unknown Governor from Alaska before John McCain elevated her to the national stage. Barack Obama was an lowly unknown Illinois State Senator only five years before becoming President. Name Recognition is vital, but the American people learn quickly.
If Governor Barbour tours the United States, appears on network and cable television, while dedicating some of his many resources to winning over the Conservative Blogosphere: he could reverse his political profile in just a few months, especially if he starts winning GOP Primary polls in the deep South.
While his record is brilliant, no-one knows of it. That is the uphill battle that Haley Barbour must climb if he wants to win the Republican Nomination, let alone the White House in 2012. But from what I've seen of the Conservative Insider, that should not be a problem for too long if he does decide to run.
Keep an eye on Mississippi, and its Governor - they might just surprise you.