Rep. Paul Ryan as Vice-President Pick: Snap Red Iowa Survey Shows State Republicans Pleased, Concerned
State Republicans say the Wisconsin congressman will help keep the focus on the economy. They aren't so certain about his ability to attract swing voters and fend off attacks on Medicare policy.
Iowa's influential Republicans seem happy enough with Mitt Romney's decision to make Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan his vice-presidential running mate, but they have doubts about the ticket's ability to attract all-important swing voters in this crucial swing state.
To underscore the importance of Iowa's six delegates in November's election, Ryan is scheduled to appear in Des Moines at the Iowa State Fair on Monday with Gov. Terry Branstad.
Ryan is an ardent conservative and energetic advocate for slashing the country's budget, and Iowa's Republicans seem to believe he will help Romney maintain a months-long focus on the economy leading up to November's election.
Twenty Republicans offered their opinions in a snap Red Iowa survey that looks at the mood of influential party members as campaigning for the general election heats up.
Sixty percent of those who took part said they strongly agree that Ryan on the ticket will help galvanize Iowa Republicans, and another 30 percent said they agreed somewhat with that statement.
But on the question of whether Ryan will help win over Iowa's undecided voters, the respondents were decidedly luke warm. Only 20 percent strongly agreed that Ryan will help attract those voters and 45 percent said they somewhat agreed.
"The selection of Paul Ryan as VP will win over many Iowa Independent voters who care more about economic issues than they do social issues," said one respondent. "This pick puts the economy, and the budget's implications on the economy, on center stage."
But said another: "I do not see that this VP will help Obama or Romney. This pick is certainly not a negative for Romney, but not a clear positive."
The 20 Republicans responding to the Red Iowa survey are a mix of current and former office holders, party leaders, candidates and activists. The survey was inspired by academic research that showed endorsements by party "actors" at all levels are a critical leading indicator of primary presidential elections.
And Republicans have two other concerns: Budget cuts and Medicare.
Obama's campaign didn't wait long to respond. It criticized the budget blueprints Ryan has authored, particularly his recommendations to fundamentally remake Medicare -- essentially making it a capped voucher program -- and cut $5.3 trillion in government spending over the coming decade.
One-quarter of those in the survey said they somewhat agreed with the statement that President Obama can retake the White House by arguing against the cuts and revamping.
Ryan began yesterday in Norfolk, VA, with what is certain to be a constant theme leading up to and beyondt the Republican Convention in Tampa, which begins Aug. 27.
"Regrettably, President Obama has become part of the problem... and Mitt Romney is the solution," said the seven-term lawmaker, who at 42 is a generation younger than Romney, 65.
Ryan is chairman of the House Budget Committee, the chief architect of deeply controversial budget plans and widely viewed by Republican lawmakers as an intellectual leader within the party.
Participants in Red Iowa and Blue Iowa are noted, but their answers are kept confidential. If you’d like to take part in either survey, contact Iowa Regional Editor Todd Richissin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Iowa Roster: State Sen. Jack Whitver, Randy Munson, Amanda Freel, Steve Boal, State Rep. Kevin Koester, Carmine Boal, Rick Hermann, Wade Steenhoek, Skye Alison, Mike St. Clair, Jeremy Davis, Cory Adams, Chad Steenhoek, Rick Sanders, Ronald Stenstrom, Mike Nolan, Marilyn Krocheski, Karen Svede, Paul Fell, James Wilson, Dusty Juhl, Elizabeth Kuennen, Robert White, Jeff Angelo, George Forbes, Darrow Uhlenhopp, Jacqui Norman, Ben Rittgers, Randy Yontz, Chad Airhart, Isaiah McGee, Shane Blanchard, Rob Taylor, Jon McAvoy, Mike Elam, Chris McLinden, Arleigh Clemens, Deb Thornton, Cynthia Michel, William Keettel, Natalie Ginty, Debra Derksen, Irene Chalmers-Neubauer, Roger Anderson, Leah Adams, Tim Hagle, Jim Sandager, Polk County Supervisor Robert Brownell, Charles Schneider, Mary Kramer, Jim Aipperspach, Steve Gaer, Eric Woolson, Gregory Hudson, Gary Kirke, Westside Conservative Club Founder Paul Zietlow, State Rep. Scott Raecker, Jacob Chapman, Jill Ellsworth, Polk County Supervisor E.J. Giovannetti, Paula Dierenfeld, Urbandale City Councilman Creighton Cox, Andy Christenson, Connie Schmett, Will Rogers, Matt Nolan, Paul French, Kathy French, Judd Saul, Greg Tagtow, Mac McDonald.