Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Poll: Paul Ryan's Approval Numbers Have Dropped Precipitously


Blue America has been insisting for years that Paul Ryan is vulnerable to a serious electoral challenge. This week Democratic political strategists inside the Beltway are getting the same message from one of their own, pollster Paul Maslin. Maslin agrees that Rob Zerban is in position to give Ryan the reelection battle of his career. Or will the DCCC sabotage the efforts... again?

There is literally no better example of a corporate sell-out than would-be Medicare killer and Ayn Rand cultist Paul Ryan. The DCCC has always treated him-- for reasons they refuse to disclose-- as untouchable, even though the district routinely votes for local Democrats and Obama won the district 51-48%. The DCCC involvement in WI-1 has always been to prevent a viable candidate from winning a primary and fighting hard, if stealthily, for a Democrat with no chance whatsoever. Last year it was John Heckenlively, a self-described "historical consultant" who lives in his parents' basement and who managed to raise $12,066 at a time that Ryan raked in $3,922,760. Ryan's margin of victory was 38 points-- 179,819 (68%) to 79,363 (30%).

That's a long established pattern for the DCCC in this district. This cycle the DCCC slipped up and Rob Zerban, a credible Kenosha County supervisor, managed to lay claim to the candidacy. The poll shows him having already cut down that 38 point difference to 6 points, slightly over the margin of error. Taking down Ryan would be one of the biggest political stories of the year-- and it could happen, despite the DCCC's noncommittal attitude. They've absolutely refused to put Zerban on their Red to Blue list and, aside from using Ryan and his deranged plans to kill Medicare as a bugaboo nationally, they are steadfastly ignoring him as an electoral target.

Ryan is considered "serious" and "an idea guy" by the Beltway media, although he has the intellect of an adolescent who just had her life profoundly changed by a quick reading of The Fountainhead. Wall Street marked him as an up-and-comer early on and-- along with the Insurance Industry-- has financed his political career and his rise to power inside the GOP House caucus. As Paul Krugman has pointed out on numerous occasions, Ryan "don't know much about economics." Krugman's analysis of Ryan's proposals over the last year and a half are classic and make a complete mockery of Beltway conventional wisdom that the 42 year old Budget Chairman is going places. Wall Street would like to see him in the Senate or White House one day. They've given him more in contributions than any other Wisconsin politician in history-- $2,600,622 so far.

As of September 30, Ryan's campaign was sitting on $4,276,222, almost $2 million of it raised this year. And so far this year Ryan's two top donors are PriceWaterhouseCoopers and Goldman Sachs. Zerban, who's getting no financial help from the DCCC whatsoever (and, obviously, none from the big Wall Street predators who are financing Ryan), had raised $276,917 as of September 30. It isn't enough-- which is why Blue America keeps urging you to contribute, even if just $5 or $10 to Rob's campaign. The poll was completed early in November and it's clear that Ryan can be defeated if a serious effort is made.
[T]he worst rating in the poll goes to the U.S. Congress, which receives only a 19% approval mark, with 74% disapproving, (See Figure 2) nearly mirroring the national right direction/wrong track finding of 18% vs. 70%.

All of this background has weakened incumbent Paul Ryan, who used to enjoy electoral and image majorities well over 60%. Ryan’s favorable rating has declined to 54% positive, his job rating is 55% and his reelect is 54%-- all this before the beginning of an active campaign against Ryan. When voters hear positive information about Rob Zerban and Paul Ryan, Ryan’s support weakens further to 52%. Rob Zerban’s description receives a better than 3 to 1 positive reaction.

And, after respondents hear one additional paragraph description linking Ryan to the Republican leadership in Congress and describing his authorship of the House budget plan, his support falls below 50% and his favorable rating becomes like Obama’s and Walker’s-- dead even at 46% positive and 46% negative. And... Rob Zerban trails Ryan by only six points after this very brief exposition of Ryan’s signature idea, 49-43%, with undecideds holding nearly unanimously negative views of Congress in general and more than 80% saying they have either a negative or neutral feeling toward Ryan at the end of the poll.

Instead of recruiting right-wing, conservative Democrats, which is all Steve Israel concerns himself with, he should be working with Rob Zerban to defeat one of the gravest dangers America faces: Paul Ryan. In lieu of that, can you pitch in and do the clueless Israel's job for him? Or maybe Israel's worse than clueless. I'm trying to get to the bottom of it. Meanwhile, the Blue Dogs, still chortling with self-satisfaction over Dennis Cardoza's smear of President Obama, are working with Israel to elect 5 conservative Democrats-- Leonard Bembry (FL-2), Clark Hall (AR-1), Brendan Mullen (IN-2), Ted Vick (SC-7) and Rob Wallace (OK-2). Instead of concentrating on getting rid of Paul Ryan, Steve Israel is concentrating on electing conservative with Republican values. Cardoza, co-chair of the Blue Dog PAC-- riding high after slamming Obama, brayed: "That’s who the Blue Dogs are, and that’s why these candidates actively sought our endorsement. They know what the Blue Dog brand represents and wanted to share in it." We do too.

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At 7:49 AM, Anonymous notsotupelohoney said...

What a great post! Thanks for the information.

This election cycle, I will not give money to the Ds , but to candidates directly beginning with Zerban. It won't be much. I don't have much.

Do you know of other candidates who are being snubbed by the party?

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Postman Jack said...

I wonder if Congressman Ryan is willing to support the making of a U.S. postage stamp which can help cover the federal cost of food stamps and the meals-on-wheels program!!


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