Polls: Paul Who?
August 11th, 2012
02:38 AM ET
2 years ago

Polls: Paul Who?

(CNN) – Mitt Romney made his long-anticipated vice presidential announcement Saturday morning, naming U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate.

Polls show Americans are largely unsure of Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee. A CNN/ORC International survey taken August 7-8 showed 54% of those polled saying they didn't know enough about Ryan to form an opinion. Twenty-seven percent said they viewed the Wisconsin congressman favorably and 19% viewed him unfavorably.

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Among Republicans polled, Ryan's favorability was higher - though 45% still said they didn't know enough about him to form an opinion. Ryan was viewed favorably by 49% of Republicans and unfavorably by 6%.

Twenty-seven percent of independents surveyed viewed Ryan favorably, compared to 22% who said they had an unfavorable opinion of him and 54% who were unsure.

When Republicans were asked in the who they'd like to see Romney choose as him running mate, 16% named Ryan. That placed him behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who had the backing of 28% of Republicans, and tied with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

The CNN poll was conducted by ORC International, with 1,010 adults nationwide, including 419 Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP, questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus three percentage points, with a sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points for questions only answered by Republicans and independents who lean towards the GOP.

While Ryan is unknown by many Americans, the seven-term congressman cruised to victory in 2010 with 68% of the vote in his Wisconsin district. The Badger State went for President Barack Obama in 2008 by nearly 15 percentage points, but the latest polling in Wisconsin shows a much tighter race this time around.

A Quinnipiac University/CBS News/New York Times poll showed 51% of likely Wisconsin voters backing Obama, compared to 45% who back Romney. The former Massachusetts governor won the Wisconsin GOP primary on April 3 with 44% of the vote.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

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Filed under: 2012 VP Pick • Paul Ryan
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. Tazzie

    The conservative posters at this site have solidified my opinion of the Ryan pick. In the end, the choice of Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate will do nothing to help Romney get elected, and will actually probably do some harm to his election chances.

    Like all candidates running for the Republican ticket, Romney had to steer his campaign away from the moderate views that he espoused (Romneycare, pro-choice, advocating sensible limits on guns, etc...) and move towards a more conservative position. However, in order to win the general election, Romney needs to steer back towards the center. However, he has continued to pander to the far-right and the choice of Paul Ryan pushes his campaign even further right.

    In the end, choosing Ryan will only excite the far-right. However, Romney already had those votes, anyway (since there is no way they would have ever voted for Obama). The downside of this choice is it will cede the vote of the majority of seniors and women to Obama. It is also far more likely to push the "undecided" votes that tend to be more centrist into the Obama camp also.

    I suspect that history will repeat, with the polls following the same pattern as 2008. The initial reaction may benefit Romney in the short term. However, the benefits will quickly erode as people find out more about Paul Ryan (i.e. his stances on Medicare, Medicaid, abortion, etc...).

    August 11, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  2. Bob

    Does he go Moose hunting?

    August 11, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. cigarman

    Americans say that they dont know enough about Ryan to form an opinion? I suggest that those who say they do not know anything about the Crook Ryan, they had better be studying up on him. Ryan is the planner who wants to do away with Your Medicare, Medicade, Unions, Womens Rights and Social Security. Ryan and Romney and the rest of the Stupid Republicans want to go to War with Iran, so that there buddies at Haliburton, General Dynamics, ETC. can Rape the United States again. The Republicans are already crying about the Reduction in funding to our Military who cannot defeat twenty thousand misfits in Afghanistan. The Republicans are going to Raise Taxes on the Poor and the Middleclass and give the super rich a ten Per cent tax cut. Oh yes, the Republicans also want to get rid of unemployment compensation. If a woman or a poor person or a member of the Middle Class votes for ANY Republican, they are voting against themselves. That is just Plain Stupid. Come on People, get educated about the Republican Party and these two eggheads that will ruin your life as you know it.

    August 11, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  4. Ian

    Doesnt he reside in the state where they man handled union's , took away from the middle. Well not a new story with romney. I think this is the nail in the coffin. Were not going back to those bush years.

    August 11, 2012 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  5. Jackie

    Young Gun and follower of Ayn Rand will use the same Greenspan policies that brought the collapse but Greenspan did apologize to the American people for the failure and then resigned. Ryan helped get many of the 2001-2009 policies that Bush Administration get that brought the Recession. Ryan had Health Care Lobbyist right his Ryan Plan and which ends health care to seniors and women/children. Paul puts money ahead of Americans and Mitt will just sign what his bosses tell him as he will be the figure head President as Grover Norquist.

    August 11, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  6. DannyCali

    Wrong guy to be VP, I think Republican going loose this election and if they get elect to President they going to be same as G.H.W.B and Dan Quayle. Look next week R&R going to go Down and Down until gone.

    August 11, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  7. packerfans

    Vote for Mitt/Paul on Nov 2012!! DON't Vote Obama who want king and Babylon America (same Marriage) !!! Obama taking senior citzen s income cost living away three years . Obama borrowing near 6 trillions debts against cap,balance and cut!! He was Nuts!! Now 16 trillions Obama can do nothing with it!! If his second terms will go 22 trillions debts?? No way Vote for Mitt/Paul who can save America they do cut, cap and balance and more jobs!!!

    August 11, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. mojoquasi

    I guess 60% of the people in this country don't watch or read or listen to the news. For months it's been common knowledge that Ryan wants to do away with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and he voted against Planned Parenthood.

    How in hell could you be undecided about someone like that?

    August 11, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  9. BILL S

    Pual Ryan is the Dan Quail of 2012. lifeless borning and reads the GOP script loweer taxes for the rich andless care for the needy. If he and Romey want to cut goverment spending then how much should we cut on defensce spending?

    August 11, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
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