Rasmussen: Ohio likely voters favorable toward Ryan, 51/39

posted at 12:01 pm on August 14, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

The immediate conventional wisdom from the media in the wake of Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as running mate was that Ryan might make Wisconsin more competitive, but would cost Romney in Ohio and Florida.  Rasmussen polled likely voters in Ohio for their initial impression of Paul Ryan and his impact on the ticket, and found that Ryan doesn’t do any damage to Romney — and may boost his chances of retaking this key state for the GOP:

Early reactions to Mitt Romney’s new running mate are modestly positive in Ohio.

Fifty-one percent (51%) have a favorable opinion of the GOP’s Vice Presidential running mate. A new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Ohio finds that 39% have an unfavorable view. Those figures include 33% with a Very Favorable opinion and 24% with a Very Unfavorable view.  (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Forty percent (40%) say they’re now more likely to vote for Mitt Romney and 32% are less likely to do so. Among unaffiliated voters, 42% are now more likely to vote for Romney, and 18% are less likely.

However, prior to his introduction by Romney on Saturday, Ryan was relatively unknown. As a result, these numbers could shift significantly in coming weeks.

That’s a fair warning.  The race is on to “define” Paul Ryan, but so far, the Romney team seems to be ahead.  After all, only 10% of the respondents in this poll were not familiar enough with Ryan to have an opinion on him, and only 29% were unsure whether this was the right choice for the ticket.  Among those most unsure in critical demos didn’t have unfamiliarity to blame for their hesitancy:

  • Women: 36% unsure whether Ryan is the right choice, but only 13% were not familiar enough to form an opinion of Ryan
  • Seniors: 30% unsure, only 8% unfamiliar
  • Democrats: 36% unsure, 8% unfamiliar
  • Independents: 35% unsure, 17% unfamiliar

The favorability of Ryan among these groups is either good or virtually even, except of course for Democrats (15/76), although 19% of those think Ryan was the right choice for Romney.  Ryan’s at a -2 among women (47/49), but a +19 among independents, with 50% already having a favorable opinion, and 33% having a “very favorable” opinion of the new #2. Once again, as in Rasmussen’s national poll in July, Ohio seniors give Ryan his most favorable demographic rating other than Republicans, with 54% favorable against only 38% negative, and 36% of seniors rating him “very favorable.”

How will that impact these demographics?  In all but the Democrats, Ryan makes voters more likely to support the ticket.  That’s even true with women, albeit narrowly at 35/30, so the initial “women should be frightened of Ryan” hasn’t exactly succeeded yet, at least not in this battleground state.  Independents are more likely to support the ticket with Ryan than not by a +24, 42/18, which even outpaces seniors’ +15 at 46/31.

We still have plenty of time for Democrats to demonize Ryan, but their initial efforts seem to have fallen short.  Ryan’s off to a good first impression in Ohio, and the numbers indicate he’s making it harder for Barack Obama in the Buckeye State rather than easier.


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This is not a question of who’s telling the truth about Ryan, it’s a question of whether we can win a war against a propaganda machine out to define him negatively. Can we penetrate the fog of disinformation and lies with the truth? Jury’s out on that.

writeblock on August 14, 2012 at 2:42 PM

> plenty of time for Democrats to demonize Ryan,
> but their initial efforts seem to have fallen short.

Of course! In the sunny world of Ed Morrissey, the pathetic efforts of Democratic liberals always fail and the news is always encouraging. If anything, the Rasmussen polls are too pessimistic.

Nominating Ryan is a stroke of genius, his wonky PowerPoint presentations on YouTube will persuade millions of working class and elderly voters that Obama equals Nazism, Freedom equals Small Government and Romney/Ryan will defeat Barack Hussein Obama-Joe Biden 538-0.


mlindroo on August 14, 2012 at 3:01 PM

The danger for the Dems is that if you keep spreading blatant lies and mistruths about Ryan, even members of the media are gonna start to call you out since they don’t wanna be perceived as complicit in that smear campaign.

Disagree. Waiting for the media to grow a conscience is an exercise in futility. Instead the media has to be taken on directly. Bush should have done it as president, and Romney needs to do it by questioning the premises of their questions–much as Newt does. We also need to call them out on instances of obvious biased journalism right after these occur–such as when CBS edited-out the Romney/Ryan comments on Medicare in the 60 Minutes interview. Not one word about Ryan’s real plan ever got through–though his argument was by far the most important and newsworthy feature of the interview. For too long the GOP has let such sins of omission slip by. It even puts leftwing journalists in the driver’s seat in GOP primary debates. Time for all of that to stop.

writeblock on August 14, 2012 at 3:08 PM

The only institution polling lower than Congress these days is the media. There’s no down side to kicking their a$$es as far as public opinion goes. Why don’t our guys do it? What are they afraid of–that they might keep doing what they’re already doing?

writeblock on August 14, 2012 at 3:13 PM

Hey, Dems, Why Don’t You Tell Us How You Really Feel About Paul Ryan?


M2RB: KISS, live at Rock Am Ring 2010

Resist We Much on August 14, 2012 at 3:55 PM

Having gone to Miami University won’t hurt in Ohio. (my old school)

hip shot on August 14, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Having gone to Miami University won’t hurt in Ohio. (my old school)

hip shot on August 14, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Mine too. I was one class ahead, and my wife was in his class. Neither of us were business students, and can’t remember ever knowing him.

The connection might be worth a decent number of votes, worth it in a close election.

FuzzyLogic on August 14, 2012 at 4:18 PM

I have to take issue with the premise that because Romney chose Ryan some voters in Ohio or Florida will now not vote for Romney. I live in Wisconsin and if Romney had picked Rubio or Portman I would have still voted for Romney. It wouldn’t matter who he put on the ticket as VP – Obama has to go so my vote would be for Romney.

traditionalgal on August 14, 2012 at 5:54 PM