Polls: Paul Who?
August 11th, 2012
02:38 AM ET
10 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. Jo

    I wonder if they think voters would get him confused with Ron Paul or his son. Its a bad choice, instead of getting Rubio who would have turned Florida red, they are going for Wisconsin which will probably stay blue anyway. Once people see his plan they will consider Palin a better choice.

    August 11, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  2. Sarah

    Dan Quayle II –Senior citizens vote; they have paid their dues. They watched Bush destroy their assets for retirement. Wisconsin will swing Obama - Ryan won't help him at all. Stupid choice - Portman would have been better odds because of Ohio never recovering from 9-11 and watching their jobs go to other countries for the cheap labor.

    August 11, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  3. Ram Riva

    Isn't Paul Ryan the voucher guy??....who wants to get rid of medicare replace it with a voucher system, and privatize social security??....he's Romney's VP running mate???.....are these guys out of their mind!.....this is the Tea Party running the conservative circus now.......if the GOPTea Party thought they had the senior vote locked up.....think again....Mr Ryan was slammed in his own district by seniors and everyone else on the voucher system.....remember the slogan....KEPP OFF MY MEDICARE....that's going to read on Romney / Ryan ticket Tombstone....

    August 11, 2012 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. joe

    So, the right wing bullies got their way. Instead of choosing someone solid and qualified to be president (the main purpose of having a VP), someone like Portman or Pawlenty, Romney is stampeded into picking a right winger with minimal qualifications or experiencee. By now Romney has kissed so many behinds to get the nomination that he must have forgotten what a face looks like.

    August 11, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  5. indiawilkes

    How does the Ryan selection square with the Religious Right? Ryan is a major devotee of, and states that he got into politics because of, Ayn Rand – a militant atheist who was utterly opposed to Christ's teachings... who thought Christians were weak and worthless. Who believed the rich are rich because they are superior and the poor are to be scorned and unloved. Ryan's whole philosophy is based on Rand's philosophy of the "morality of capitalism"...

    August 11, 2012 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. mark5

    GOP's plan, first appease the base then let the televangelicals and billion dollar ads do the rest. USA was never in the shortlist plan.

    August 11, 2012 10:53 am at 10:53 am |

    Analogies are important here...

    If Paul Ryan and Joe Biden were actors, Ryan would be Dustin Hoffman. Biden would be Pee Wee Herman.

    If they were athletes, Ryan would be Michael Jordan. Biden would be Bob Uecker.

    If they were in the circus, Ryan would be ringleader. Biden would clean up after the elephants.

    August 11, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. eh

    even the archaic, out of touch catholic church recognized ryan to be a social-darwinist. when confronted about being a follower of ayn rand's philosophy he denied it(although he was a speaker at her 100 b-day jubilee) if you are going to vote republican you are either greedy or, to put it nicely, "ill-informed".

    August 11, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  9. mark5

    Sorry for the wrong spelling in my previous post, I meant talibangelicals.

    August 11, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  10. markus

    the man has no lips, which I find troubling.

    August 11, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  11. fJL

    If he gets elected you can KISS YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE GOODBYE! This pick doomed Romney.

    August 11, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  12. 0Patrick0

    Ryan was a star even in highschool. His classmates voted him the Biggest Brown-Noser his senior year.

    August 11, 2012 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  13. PJ

    Ryan's budget would seriously hurt the elderly with Medicare and Social Security cuts. He is a dangerous man. What a pair they make.

    August 11, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  14. JOHN

    Paul Ryan is not a good choice for VP. He's to neo-conservative. He's only for the rich and the racists.

    August 11, 2012 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  15. N'oreaster

    Who? Another CNN op ed nitwit piece. Time to grow up and avoid being the tabloid of the Internet
    Remember someone called Harry S. Truman, a haberdasher who was picked as FDR's V.P., or doesn't your collective historical memory go back more than 10 minutes. Back then, I doubt anyone knew Harry. But no one can doubt his legacy.

    August 11, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  16. Debby

    I am not crazy about Romney's pick.

    August 11, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. peggy conard

    What a group of losers above that has not woke up yet. Guess you like all your freedoms taken away.
    HE is not going to take away your SS & Medicare. The "big" guy in WH now is such a crook & every word a lie.
    The Demcrat party not the same as years ago- please open your eyes & think about the future of US.

    August 11, 2012 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  18. bcrunner

    Very interesting don't you think?? Just on Thursday the WSJ ran an opinion "why not Romney". From what we learned today, the decision was made 10 days ago... The Wall Street bosses chose Ryan for Romney and he followed their lead...

    August 11, 2012 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  19. Steve

    Paul Ryan??? Is that the best Mitt Romney can do? If these two get in the White House, we are all DOOMED!!. Things will get much worse. Both of these guys are crooks. Hey Mitt, lets see those tax returns!! Stop the lies!!

    August 11, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  20. 2tor

    " 54% of those polled saying they didn't know enough about Ryan"

    Not surprising, he's a numbers guy. Numbers are boring. It's hard enough to get people to pay attention to current affairs, especially with the left leaning media. Much less numbers. The guy's good, say what you will.

    August 11, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. Twins1994

    Ryan is a great choice...for those of you stating the he will "hurt" SS and Medicare.....they are all ready destroyed....Bankrupt in fact....get your heads out of the ground...better yet stay there and don't vote!

    August 11, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  22. Hopeandchange

    I like this man! I like his values. I like his style. I like his adversity.

    August 11, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. carlos


    Analogies are important here...

    and you are the sewer dweller...PHEW

    August 11, 2012 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  24. Semanon

    Nice, CNN....!! Your tv spot highlighting Paul Ryan as VP choice of Romney shows two democrats criticizing Ryan. So much for fairness. We know where you stand.

    August 11, 2012 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  25. carlos

    CAR= catholics against ryan......SAR= seniors against ryan....LAR= latinos against ryan...MCAR= middle class against ryan....willard will change his mind...nothing new!

    August 11, 2012 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
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