Voters Show Little Enthusiasm Over Ryan Pick, Poll Shows

A slim plurality of Americans weren’t moved by Republican Mitt Romney’s choice of Representative Paul Ryan for a vice presidential candidate, according to a USA Today-Gallup poll today.

The survey found 42 percent saying Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Budget Committee, was either a fair or poor choice as Romney’s running mate, while 39 percent called him an excellent or pretty good pick. The difference is within the poll’s margin of error.

The negative ratings were the highest since a 1988 Harris Poll of likely voters reported that 52 percent of respondents said Dan Quayle, then a U.S. senator from Indiana, was a fair or poor choice on the part of George H.W. Bush, according to USA Today. Bush and Quayle were elected that November over the Democratic ticket of Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen of Texas.

Ryan’s selection, announced Aug. 11, led 17 percent of respondents in the USA Today-Gallup survey to say they were more likely to vote for the Republican ticket in November.

That’s about the same share who said they were more likely to back 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain after he picked then-Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate.

Gallup surveyed 1,006 adults yesterday, a day after Romney’s announcement. The poll had a possible margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

ABC Survey

An ABC News-Washington Post poll found 38 percent of Americans holding a favorable opinion of Ryan as the vice- presidential candidate and 33 percent holding an unfavorable view, with 30 percent expressing no opinion.

The survey found 62 percent of Republicans favorably inclined toward Ryan, as well as 39 percent of independents and 19 percent of Democrats. Thirteen percent of Republicans, 28 percent of independents and 58 percent of Democrats viewed him unfavorably in the poll.

The survey of 522 adults was taken yesterday and Aug. 11 -- after Romney’s announcement -- and had a possible margin of error of 5.5 percentage points.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan D. Salant in Washington at jsalant@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeanne Cummings at jcummings21@bloomberg.net.

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