Ryan Finds Little Enthusiasm in Polls

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A supporter holds a photo of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan at the Waukesha County Expo Center on August 12, 2012 in Wisconsin.

The first numbers are out and it appears that presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s choice of U.S. Representative Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate is not a game changer.

A slim plurality of Americans weren’t moved by Republican Mitt Romney’s choice of Representative Paul Ryan for a vice presidential candidate, according to a USA Today-Gallup poll today.

The survey found 42 percent saying Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, was either a fair or poor choice as Romney’s running mate, while 39 percent called him an excellent or pretty good pick.

The negative ratings were the highest since a 1988 Harris Poll of likely voters reported that 52 percent of respondents said Dan Quayle, then a U.S. senator from Indiana, was a fair or poor choice on the part of George H.W. Bush, according to USA Today.

Bush and Quayle were elected that November over the Democratic ticket of Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas.

Ryan’s selection, announced Aug. 11, led 17 percent of respondents in the USA Today-Gallup survey to say they were more  likely to vote for the Republican ticket in November.

That’s about the same share who said they were more likely to back 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain after he picked then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Gallup surveyed 1,006 adults yesterday, a day after Romney’s announcement. The poll had a possible margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

 ABC News and the Washington Post ran their own survey.

In weekend interviews 38 percent responded favorably to Ryan joining the Republican ticket, ABC reports, up from 23 percent in pre-selection interviews last week. Positive views rose among independents as well as among Republicans, and among women. And Ryan was notably well-received among senior citizens – a group of interest given his plan to reshape Medicare.

At the same time, ABC and the Post found: “33 percent of adults – disproportionately Democrats – continue to see Ryan’s selection unfavorably, about the same after the announcement as it was before. The movement in his favor came among undecideds, 45 percent before the announcement, a still-substantial 30 percent after it. Enough are left to tilt the balance as they come to their judgment on the choice.”

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