In news that will cause many South Carolinians to expectorate all over their computer monitors, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley was named as one of ten “Republican” politicians who could conceivably jump into the 2012 GOP presidential race in the event that Mitt Romney is defeated in Michigan next week.

No really … she was.

Compiled by The Politico (or at least some chick who works at The Politico), this list of campaign 2.0 prospects listed Haley at No. 9 – behind Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Chris Christie, Paul Ryan, Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee and John Thune (and ahead of Marco Rubio).

Not bad for a gal with a 34.6 approval rating in her home state … which she failed to deliver for Romney, by the way.

Of Haley, The Politico (or at least that one chick who works there) wrote thusly:

The Romney surrogate and South Carolina governor would certainly be a surprise entrant following the chatter about her as a possible candidate in 2016. But it might be time for the tea party favorite and youngest current governor to think sooner rather than later.

Wait … people are talking about Haley as a potential presidential contender in 2016?

Well yes … Haley’s political consultant is.

We’ve written in the past about the profound disconnect that exists between South Carolinians’ perceptions of Haley and the national press corps’ perceptions (which only recently began to assume a modicum of objectivity).

To the national press she’s a “rising star.” To people in this state? She’s, well … not.

Anyway, after getting dissed in a recent Romney veep shortlist discussion, it looks like at least one national reporter is ready to catapult Haley ahead of the former Massachusetts governor. Is such an honor deserved?

Vote in our poll and post your thoughts in our comments section below …