the ryan factor

Posted: August 19, 2012 in Observations and Commentary
Tags: , , , , ,

The GOP’s base has been energized by the inclusion of Paul Ryan to the ticket as Mitt Romney’s Vice Presidential candidate. The renewed sense of purpose among some Republicans is palatable. They are of the belief that Ryan is the serum to what ails the Romney campaign and, more importantly, the country. Finally, the right person is on the national ticket, the one who represents what the party is really about, the one who will help secure the necessary votes to remove President Obama from office. Unfortunately for these folks the selection of Paul Ryan cannot fix a couple of critical truths.

The Vice Presidential candidate does not win elections. Let’s say that again. The Vice Presidential candidate does not win elections.

History, that pesky barometer, has consistently demonstrated VP candidates have little positive impact on how people end up voting. Some may even argue the wrong choice hurts more than the right choice helps. Either way does anyone really think Joe Biden boosted Obama in 2008? Did Jimmy Carter squeak by Gerald Ford in 1976 because Walter Mondale was on the ticket? In 1988 did people vote for George Bush or Dan Quayle? The fact is those who vote for a ticket based in large part upon the running mate are statistically insignificant. When the voting booth curtain closes and people are faced with a choice they pick who they want to occupy big chair. Nothing else. Ryan, for all the hoopla swirling around him, is not the panacea the Republicans need. If he was he would have been encouraged by the party leaders to run for President. But he was not because the GOP’s power brokers realize his crossover appeal is limited. And that highlights a more distressing concern for the Romney campaign.

Paul Ryan on the ticket does nothing to sway independent and undecided voters, especially those within the party. It may seem difficult to believe, but there are Republicans with more moderate political ideologies who are not in lockstep with the direction their party has taken over the past 15 years or so. Those folks tend to get drowned out by others who think yelling louder somehow makes them more important. While a less radical running mate may not by itself win the undecideds, a more radical one certainly pushes them further away. A Paul Ryan candidacy does nothing to embrace these people, the ones who may ultimately decide the race. Ryan primarily appeals to the segment of the party which would sooner chop off their arms than vote for Obama. If the Republicans feel the need to placate these people – the most right of the right – they have a serious problem. With less than three months until the election no party should need to pander to their rock solid base to ensure their vote. But the choice of Paul Ryan aims to do just that. That should trouble Republicans, not energize them.

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Comments
  1. rangewriter says:

    I dunno, the Tod Akin factor just might tip the balance. Sure has energized women. Too bad this isn’t happening the last week of October.

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  2. Nicely said, my friend. And I agree with WhiteLadyintheHood, don’t stay away so long!

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  3. He does have pretty eyes, though.

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  4. Well said. Unfortunately a lot of idiots do pay attention to things like the VP choice. Remember how many idiots were swayed by McCain after he chose Sarah Palin? That scared the heck out of me. This time around it’s a whole different ballgame, but equally scary.

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    • John says:

      The feelings engendered when we get caught up in the moment rarely have staying power. When November rolls around people will vote for the man they want to be President, not the man who might someday be President if the number one guy suddenly dies.

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  5. sparklebumps says:

    Ok, I’m sorry, I love ya, John, but all I read was “bla bla bla.” I feel really bad when you and my Rockstar are babbling on about Ryan and I have no idea what you’re saying….

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  6. whiteladyinthehood says:

    Traskie, I usually steer clear of political posts. I am an undecided voter. In the past I have voted Republican and Democratic. I’m not smart enough, informed enough, or have the desire to debate this election. I’ll make up my mind and vote when the time comes, though.

    So, with that said, you should not stay gone for so long! I was missing you! 🙂

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  7. Edward Hotspur says:

    Not to mention, all the hypocrisy. Oh, wait…. now I see why Romney chose Ryan.

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  8. I live in Illinois. The land of Obama. Most of my friends and neighbors, all of whom are democrats, voted for Obama believing he would change the American political scene. They don’t believe this anymore. I don’t know a single Democrat (of my friends and neighbors) that will be voting for Obama again in the fall.
    I went to see that movie “2016 Obama” and was surprised to see a full house and hear people applauding at the close. This was a theater pack with Jewish Senior citizens. This is Illinois!! This is crazy? I’m telling you the tide is changing. People are looking for someone smart to step in and take the helm. Maybe it was Joe Biden’s ridiculous and offensive comments this past week that have people looking at Paul Ryan? I don’t know? I’ll continue to talk to Illinois voters and make observations — it will be an interesting election, that’s for sure.

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    • John says:

      One person cannot change the political landscape, at least not in this country and certainly not in a few years. It’s true Obama instilled hope in people and now they feel cheated. But taking the short view will inevitably leave you feeling less than satisfied.

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  9. greg says:

    Ryan may cost the Republicans some votes, it’s true. But probably not as many votes as the Democrats will lose through all their phony anti-voter fraud laws. It’s not enough for Republicans to mobilize their base this election year; it’s also necessary for them to demobilize the Democrats and prevent them from voting. And that is a very sad state of affairs.

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    • John says:

      It makes me laugh (and not in the good way) when I hear certain GOP talking heads blattering on about America and her freedoms in one breath and supporting these “anti-voter fraud” measures in the next.

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  10. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Insightful analysis – thank you. Yes – such hoopla over someone who won’t make a bit of difference. Romney doesn’t even support the entire Ryan plan even though he’ll act like it for a while. This is strange politics in the Republican party.

    Like

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