Though a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll showed the net-zero effect that Paul Ryan seems to be having as Mitt Romney’s running mate nationwide, swing-state polls have displayed the “bump” that traditionally comes from vice presidential candidates.Romney has improved his standing in six crucial swing-state polls since the Ryan announcement: Michigan, Virginia, Ohio, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
Here’s a state-by-state breakdown:
- Ohio: Romney and Ryan got a good start there last week, with a new Purple Strategies survey showing Romney leading the state by 2 points. It was Romney’s first lead in Ohio since a Rasmussen poll in May. Before that, Romney had not had an advantage in the state since a Fox News poll in February. Moreover, the Purple Strategies poll found that Ryan was viewed more favourably than Vice President Joe Biden, and voters saw the Romney-Ryan ticket as more likely to bring “real change” to Washington.
- Virginia: The same Purple Strategies poll also showed that Ryan propelled the ticket to a lead in the Old Dominion, after Obama had leads in 13 of the last 14 polls of the state. The poll could be an outliers, but again, Ryan was viewed more favourably than both Biden and President Barack Obama. A survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling on Tuesday also found Obama’s lead has shrunk in Virginia. However, voters chose Biden in a direct hypothetical pick of vice president, and opposed Ryan’s Medicare plan by an 8-point margin.
- Wisconsin: As Wisconsin’s native son, this is where Ryan was supposed to have the biggest effect, and it’s already showing in a couple polls. A CNN poll last Thursday first found Obama’s lead in Wisconsin dwindling, and a PPP poll Monday showed Romney-Ryan with a one-point lead. The key takeaway from those polls was that Ryan improved Republican unity around the ticket, as well as the ticket’s standing with Independents.
- New Hampshire: Obama has been trending downward in the state over the past few months, and a couple of polls after the Ryan announcement shows the President’s lead dwindling a bit further. A PPP poll last Tuesday showed Obama’s lead has been cut in half in three months, but it’s a little difficult to measure the direct effect of Ryan on the ticket.
- Michigan — There’s only one new poll here, released Monday by Foster McCollum White & Associates/Fox 2 News Detroit, which showed Michigan swinging 5 points in two months. By a 9-point margin, voters were more likely to back Romney with the addition of Ryan to the ticket, reflecting a different sentiment from the national feeling.
- Pennsylvania: A Franklin & Marshall College poll released last Thursday found Obama’s lead is shrinking in the Keystone State, although the President still leads by 5 points. The poll was taken after the Ryan announcement, but his direct effect wasn’t measured.
It remains to be seen if the Ryan bump will last in swing states, or if Romney’s numbers will deflate to mirror the rest of the nation’s lukewarm reaction to Ryan.
But the Romney-Ryan swing state bump could also suggest that Romney’s huge ad-spending advantage is starting to have an effect on voters. And it’s clear that, even as national polls remain stagnant, Romney has made up some ground in swing states over the past few months. Whether Ryan will continue to aid Romney’s rise will depend on which side can better define him over the next few weeks on the issues of Medicare and, as of late, social issues like abortion.
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