Update: Tim Ryan dropped out of the 2020 Democratic primary on October 24, 2019.
Who is Tim Ryan?
Current job: US Representative for Ohio’s 13th district. Currently running for president of the United States as a Democratic candidate.
Family: Ryan is married to Andrea Zetts, a schoolteacher. Together they have a son, named Brady. Ryan also lives with Zetts’ two children from another relationship.
Hometown: Niles, Ohio.
Political party: Democratic
Previous jobs: US representative from Ohio since 2003; member of the Ohio State Senate from 2001 to 2002; Lawyer.
Who is Tim Ryan’s direct competition for the nomination?
From a recurring series of national surveys INSIDER conducts, we can determine which other candidates Tim Ryan is competing with and how he matches up in the large Democratic field of candidates.
- Former Vice President Joe Biden: Biden and Ryan have considerable similarities on policy, so it is no surprise that over two-thirds of Ryan’s supporters would also be comfortable with the Scranton, Pennsylvania native as the nominee. This also provides Ryan with a prime opportunity to get ahead in the race if Biden’s campaign flounders.
- Sen. Cory Booker: According to our polling, half of Ryan’s supporters would also be satisfied with Booker as the Democratic nominee. Both candidates have a working class background, legal careers, and many years as legislators.
- Sen. Kamala Harris: Ryan also garners similar support among Harris backers. More than half of Ryan’s supporters would also like Harris as the Democratic nominee. Elizabeth Warren has similar numbers.
INSIDER has been conducting a recurring poll through SurveyMonkey Audience on a national sample to find out how different candidate’s constituencies overlap. We ask people whether they are familiar with a candidate, whether they would be satisfied or unsatisfied with that candidate as nominee, and sometimes we also ask whether they think that person would win or lose in a general election against President Donald Trump.
What are Tim Ryan’s policy positions?
- Ryan is a founding member of the Medicare for All Caucus in the House of Representatives.
- He is also a cosponsor of the Medicare for All bill spearheaded by liberal members of the party.
- Ryan also authored a book on the benefits of mindfulness, and has advocated for stronger mental health support in the United States.
- Ryan voted in favour of the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which built significant amounts of walls and barriers along the US-Mexico border.
- Ryan supports a permanent solution for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
On climate change:
- Ryan wants the United States to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, but has called for further action to combat global climate change.
- His economic proposal have included significant investments in electric vehicles and renewable energy.
On campaign finance:
- Ryan receives large financial support from labour unions and the manufacturing industry.
- According to OpenSecrets, 38% of Ryan’s PAC donations during his career have come from labour, while 57% have come from businesses.
- Ryan previously was pro-life, but changed his position to support legal access to abortion.
- In a 2015 op-ed for the Akron Beacon Journal, Ryan outlined why he changed his position on abortion, despite his Catholic upbringing.
On LGBTQ rights:
- Ryan is an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, which seeks to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination in many areas including housing, employment, education, credit, and more.
- He also is a supporter of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which combats bullying and discrimination for LGBTQ individuals in school districts across the US.
- Ryan introduced a bill to get more salad bars in schools as a way of improving overall health.
- He supports stricter accountability for charter schools.
- He also cosponsored legislation to increase grants for recruiting women and minorities to pursue educations in STEM fields.
- Ryan redirected campaign donations from the National Rifle Association to gun control groups after the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas.
- He had previously held an A rating from the NRA.
- Ryan now supports background checks on secondary, peer to peer firearm sales, as well as raising the minimum age for purchasing guns.
On criminal justice reform:
- Ryan supports full legalization of marijuana and served as a co-chairman of the House Addiction, Treatment, and Recovery Caucus.
- He has characterised the War on Drugs as a failure.
- He supports legislation to boost resources for police departments’ technology.
- Ryan has backed reducing mandatory minimum sentencing and allowing felons to vote one out of prison.
- Ryan has been a vocal critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and how it has affected the Midwestern United States, particularly as it relates to manufacturing.
- He has called for being very aggressive in trade negotiations to benefit US workers and companies.
- He supports the Trump administration’s tariffs as a negotiating tool with the Chinese.
- During the July primary debate in Detroit, Ryan suggested Trump was “onto something” with harsh tariff policies in combatting unfair Chinese trade practices.
- But Ryan maintained he would take a more pro-union stance regarding trade deals, which he says past administrations have failed to do.
On foreign policy:
- Ryan has backed policy proposals to combat Chinese currency manipulation.
- He has argued that Defence Department contracts need to be US-based “so that the tax dollars aren’t just serving a great national purpose with our Defence industry and our foreign policy and hard and soft power, but it’s also creating jobs in areas that need job creation to happen.”
- Ryan has also pushed for strong and cooperative alliances like NATO.
- Ryan voted against the Republican-led tax cuts in 2017.
- He has called for simplifying the US tax code, saying Democrats “can’t just be the party of redistribution of wealth. We’ve got to be the party of creation of wealth.”
- Ryan has also called for lowering the corporate tax rate from its previous rate of 35% (it is now 21% since the new tax law took effect).
- Ryan unveiled a plan to boost American manufacturing, which includes proposals to create a National Infrastructure Development Bank and a National Manufacturing Office.
- The plan would aim to increase labour standards and boost manufacturing and infrastructure through stimulus plans and other initiatives.
What are Tim Ryan’s political successes?
- Ryan has served on the House Appropriations Committee, securing grant funds for protecting pregnant women at risk of abuse as well as rebuilding an Ohio fire department, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- “Whether it is securing facility and equipment upgrades for our active duty servicemembers, implementing better care for our veterans, increasing resources to combat the opioid epidemic, strengthening retirement security, combating wage stagnation, boosting American manufacturing, or providing funding for local transportation projects in the state of Ohio – Congressman Ryan has fought and will always continue to fight for the American people,” said Ryan’s spokesman, Michael Zetts.
How much money has Tim Ryan raised?
Ryan raised $US895,000 in the second quarter of 2019, significantly less than many other candidates. The donations came from 13,000 individual donors, according to the campaign.
“We are continuing to build momentum and in the coming weeks Tim looks forward to bringing his ideas to the second debate stage in Detroit,” said Brad Bauman, a senior adviser to the Ryan campaign. “Our message about the anxiety felt by working class Americans is resonating.”
How is Tim Ryan viewed by voters compared to the competition?
INSIDER has conducted a number of other polls to check in on how these candidates are perceived in comparison to one another. When we asked respondents to one poll to rank how far to the left or to the right they considered the candidates, Ryan was generally considered to be one of the most centrist or right-leaning candidates in the field. Ryan is among the less experienced candidates in the field when we asked respondents to rank the candidates based on how prepared they are for the rigors of the presidency given what they knew about their history of public service and experience with government. And when asked how likable or personable respondents perceived the candidates to be, Ryan emerged towards the middle of the pack.
Could Tim Ryan beat President Trump?
According to polling from INSIDER, Ryan currently has a modest level of name recognition. Even among those who’ve heard of Ryan, those who think he’d lose outnumber those who think he’d win nearly three to one.
Like many in the Democratic field, Ryan has a lot of ground he needs to gain to become a formidable candidate in the general election as well as the primary.
How do Democratic voters feel about Tim Ryan’s qualifications?
INSIDER has conducted polling about how voters feel about candidate attributes or qualifications. We asked respondents about a list of possible qualifications and if they made them more likely or less likely to vote for a candidate for president. For example, among respondents who said they’d vote in the Democratic primary, 19% said a candidate being a college professor made them likelier to support them, while 4% said it made them less likely to, for a +15% net favorability. We can then see how different candidates’ resumes stack up compared to those preferences.
Attributes perceived as most valuable include his released tax returns (+43%), position in the House of Representatives (+30%), that he grew up poor (+28%) and is age 50 or younger (+23%).
Read more of our best stories on Tim Ryan:
- Here’s how mindfulness helps this Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan stay calm in DC
- Rep. Tim Ryan, a moderate Democrat from Ohio, announces he’s running for president in 2020
- House Democratic leadership is dominated by coastal states, has a ‘geographic diversity’ problem
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