Forget what you may be hearing on Fox News, from Republican partisans and the ideologically-based news media. We now have the first poll reacting to presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate — and the initial reaction is that it is not a game-changer:
Americans don’t believe GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney hit a home run with his choice of Paul Ryan as a running mate, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, with more of the public giving him lower marks than high ones.
Ryan, a Wisconsin congressman, is seen as only a “fair” or “poor” choice by 42% of Americans vs. 39% who think he is an “excellent” or “pretty good” vice presidential choice.
Some of the other numbers should raise eyebrows among Republicans and spark smiles among Democrats — particularly the Democrats now working on ads the define Ryan and Super-Glue him at the hip to Mitt Romney:
Romney pollster Neil Newhouse said in a statement that the findings reflect the fact that Ryan, a House member since 1999, isn’t widely known.
The problem: Republicans won’t do that in a vacuum. The Democrats are going to be working overtime to make sure voters know more about Ryan and their version will not be as complimentary as the Republicans’.
An even worse tidbit here:
USA TODAY/Gallup polls of registered voters after the announcements of running mates since Dick Cheney in 2000 all showed more positive reactions. Only Dan Quayle in a 1988 Harris Poll of likely voters was viewed less positively than Ryan, with 52% rating Quayle as a “fair” or “poor” vice presidential choice. The Ryan poll includes all adults, not just registered voters.
The poll also finds 17% of adults say they are more likely to vote for Romney in November because Ryan is his running mate — about the same impact Sarah Palin had for John McCain four years ago among registered voters.
Republicans, however, see the appeal in Ryan, who was hailed this weekend as a bold, innovative thinker by party stalwarts. The poll finds 36% of Republicans are now more likely to vote for Romney. In 2008, only 3 in 10 Republicans said the choice of Palin made them more likely to vote for McCain.
The USA TODAY/Gallup survey also finds 48% of Americans view Ryan as qualified to be president if something should happen to Romney, while 29% do not and 23% were undecided. Only Palin, then the governor of Alaska, and Quayle, a two-term senator from Indiana, were rated lower than Ryan.
The bottom line is:
For more reaction to this poll GO HERE.
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.