Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan — back to the same policies that almost brought the economy to a screeching halt. Mitt Romney was BULLIED into picking Paul Ryan as his running mate. He didn’t reach this conclusion all by his lonesome self. Nate Silver confirmed what I thought in the last few weeks and particularly since Mitt Romney chose ultra-conservative Ryan as his running mate — he is bearish on beating Obama in November. The problem is most Americans, over 45 percent don’t have a clue who Paul Ryan is and given his stance on a number of key issues such as Medicare, Pell grants and his stance against Romneycare, the Obama campaign is salivating on this one. Here’s an interesting take from Nate Silver:
Mr. Ryan is a national figure of some repute — before Saturday morning, hisnational name recognition was about 50 percent — but he has never been elected to anything larger than his Congressional district of about 700,000 people. Members of the House of Representatives have only occasionally been selected as running mates. The last one on a winning ticket was John Nance Garner, the speaker of the House, in 1932. The last time an ordinary member of the House was elected vice president, and the last Republican, was more than 100 years ago: in 1908, when William Howard Taft and James S. Sherman, a New York congressman, were chosen by voters. (Coincidentally, that fall was also the last time that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.)
Politics 101 suggests that you play toward the center of the electorate. Although this rule has more frequently been violated when it comes to vice-presidential picks, there is evidence that presidential candidates who have more “extreme” ideologies (closer to the left wing or the right wing than the electoral center) underperform relative to the economic fundamentals.
Various statistical measures of Mr. Ryan peg him as being quite conservative. Based on his Congressional voting record, for instance, the statistical system DW-Nominate evaluates him as being roughly as conservative as Representative Michele Bachmann, the controversial congresswoman of Minnesota. Source: NY Times
It will be some time before we can gauge whether the Ryan pick will help Mitt Romney nationwide. Romney trails Obama so far behind in Wisconsin that I doubt he will carry the state, even with Ryan on the ticket. The reality is, as Nate Silver states, Paul Ryan doesn’t poll well outside his district. Ryan’s controversial budget plan alone is a boon for the Obama campaign and he will come under blistering criticism in the coming weeks. It’s amazing that Romney picked someone from the largely unpopular Congress, where their approval rating is 15 percent. He would have been better served by picking someone like NJ Gov. Chris Christie, who’s a firebrand (though not well-liked) and has a record of accomplishments.