71% - I Great choice! Ryan will energize the GOP base and attract independents.
18% - Bad choice for Romney - good choice for Obama.
11% - Doesn’t matter - the VP candidate isn’t important.
One of the most widely speculated upon and most anxiously awaited announcements for the past several months, has been who Mitt Romney would choose as his Vice Presidential running-mate.
The short list included Senators Rob Portman of Ohio and Marco Rubio of Florida, and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan. Each gentleman has critical credentials - both politically and tactically - that placed them on this short list, but none had a longer list of plusses and minuses on their balance sheet than Ryan.
Consequently, when Romney announced that Ryan was his choice, it was seen as bold and gutsy by some and suicidal by others. Because the good Congressman’s thought-leadership resulted in positions and proposals for how to get America’s fiscal house in order, conservatives call him hero and liberals call him dangerous.
We wanted to know what our small business audience thought about this pick, so last week in our online poll, we asked this question: “Mitt Romney has chosen Wisconsin Congressman, Paul Ryan, as his VP running mate. What do you think about this decision?” Here’s what we learned:
One-in-six of our respondents said, “Bad choice for Romney - good choice for Obama,” while a little more than one-in-ten allowed that it, “Doesn’t matter - the VP candidate isn’t important.” But the big group, coming in a 71%, said, “Great choice! Ryan will energize the GOP base and attract independents.”
There are two things that Romney’s opponents are worried about with regard to Ryan: 1) He’s VERY smart; and 2) he’s very likeable. Apparently even those who vehemently disagree with his positions like him, including President Clinton.
Since Ryan is from a state that hasn’t helped a Republican presidential candidate in almost 30 years, this choice cannot be seen as a politically strategic one, as the Hispanic Floridian, Rubio, would have been. So that means Ryan was a tactical choice - based more on substance than positioning.
Unlike the 11% of our sample who discount the VP impact, I predict that over the next 11 weeks Ryan’s participation will move the electorate needle. Watching which way it moves will be interesting political theater.
Yesterday on The Small Business Advocate Show I talked more about Paul Ryan as Romney’s VP choice and the impact on the election. Take a few minutes to download or listen and let me know if you agree.