Had you taken a poll of GOP consultants prior to and immediately following the selection of Paul Ryan as VP candidate, their views would have been quite pessimistic about the choice. After all, they would contend, won’t Ryan’s views on Medicare blow our lead with seniors and sink our chances to defeat Obama?
Less than two weeks later, we now see that the opposite has occurred. PPP now joins Rasmussen in showing Romney with a small lead in Wisconsin, a state Republicans have not won since 1984. More than any other state, Wisconsin shows the imprint of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate.
One of the major shifts in the poll is the fact that Ryan has united virtually all Republicans behind Romney. He gained 10 points among Republicans, going from 87-9 to 93-5. Also, Obama’s lead among Independents shrunk from 14 points to 4 points. Additionally, Republicans now have an intensity edge that forecasts a model of +2 Republican turnout, as opposed to the +6 Democrat turnout in 2008.
But most importantly, Romney leads Obama 52-43 among seniors.
In other news, there is a Democrat poll out today that shows Romney up by 4% in Michigan. It will be interesting to see if other polls show parallel results.
So after putting the guy who will kill grandma on the ticket, Romney is actually doing better among seniors in a state that will win him the election. Ryan has also strengthened Romney’s position throughout other key Midwestern states, such as Michigan and Iowa. This should teach us all an important lesson. For far too long, whenever Democrats would come out swinging like schoolyard bullies and utter the words “Medicare,” Republicans would run for the hills. Paul Ryan decided to stand and fight. He is a smart and articulate about his reforms and is able to engage in vital political jujitsu to show how it is Obama who will leave future seniors out in the cold with no funds and severe rationing.
It’s clear that when you properly articulate a position even in a tough political climate, you will win. Now Obama is on the run with regards to an issue that was supposed to be his trump card.
To be sure, although Ryan’s rhetorical and articulation skills are superb, we hope his future actions reflect his words on limited government and free markets. His voting record has been less than stellar. It is refreshing to find a Republican who will stand up to the schoolyard bullies on tough issues, but he must follow through with his intrepid rhetoric. We must also be prepared to hold him to his promises if he and Romney win in November.
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