According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted last year, 51 percent of Republicans would rather their 2016 nominee to be a governor than a member of Congress. That’s up from 2007, when just 32 percent did, and might help explain why McCain — a close friend of Graham’s — was able to capture the GOP nomination in 2008. Even worse for Graham is that just 15 percent of Republicans say being an elected official in Washington for many years makes them more likely to vote for a candidate, while 36 percent say it makes them less likely. In 2007, it was 40 percent more likely and only 18 percent less likely.
There is no sign Republicans nationally like Graham a lot either. Besides coming in last place with 0 percent of the vote in a YouGov poll this month, Graham’s net favorable ratings (favorable minus unfavorable) are also quite weak. … Only Chris Christie and Sarah Palin are further below expectations among the plausible 2016 candidates.