John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Paul Ryan Fared Better with Republicans than Biden with Democrats in Snap Gallup Poll

Posted on August 14, 2012

Originally published in NewsBusters:

While USA Today and other liberal media outlets today were spinning the snap Gallup poll about Mitt Romney's pick of Paul Ryan in a negative light, data within the poll itself show that Ryan fared better with Republicans than Biden did with Democrats in 2008 in a similar snap Gallup poll in August 2008 just after Obama's announcement of his running mate.

From the news release (emphasis mine):
Despite Americans' muted reaction to Ryan in general, the Wisconsin representative and Republican House Budget Committee chairman may be relatively effective at firing up the GOP base this fall, as 39% of Republicans at this point consider him an "excellent" choice. That compares with 34% of Republicans calling Sarah Palin an excellent choice in August 2008 and 18% rating Dick Cheney excellent in July 2000.

On the Democratic side, fewer than 30% of Democrats rated Joe Biden this well in August 2008 (28%) or Joe Lieberman in August 2000 (23%). Only John Edwards in July 2004 elicited more excitement from members of his own party, with 45% calling him an excellent choice.

What's more, only 21 percent of Democratic respondents in 2008 said they were more likely to vote for the Democratic ticket with Biden on it, whereas Sunday's poll shows 36 percent of Republicans are more likely to support the GOP ticket now than the Wisconsin Republican is on it.

As far as independents go, 16 percent of independents in the 2008 Gallup poll, while 15 percent of independents in Sunday's poll consider the Ryan choice excellent. In the August 2008 snap poll, only 20 percent of political independents had no clue who Biden was or had no opinion about him, whereas a whopping 41 percent of independents have never heard of Ryan and 21 percent said they have no opinion.

Yes, 29 percent of respondents in the Gallup poll felt that Ryan was not qualified to serve as president should it become necessary, but that's the same percentage of voters in 2004 who thought that one-term senator John Edwards was unqualified for the Oval Office, and Edwards was much better known by the electorate in part because he was a candidate in the Democratic primaries in 2004.

Since Ryan is so relatively unknown, it's unsurprising his approval ratings in a one-day reaction poll immediately after the VP announcement would be relatively low. All the same, there are data points in the poll that are sanguine for Republicans, even if the media are loathe to acknowledge them.

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Ken Shepherd is the managing editor of and formerly a staff writer for the Media Research Center's Business & Media Institute. Ken graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland in 2001. He lives in New Carrollton, Md. with his wife and daughter. You can follow him at Twitter at

The views expressed on are Ken's own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Media Research Center.

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