Romney Bets the (White) House on Ryan

Nate Silver, the justly celebrated meta-pollster, thinks Romney picked Ryan because to stay the course he has been on was to lose. Ryan is a risky bet. When the details — the lack of which Romney had been hammered with– get known, how popular will the Ryan choice be? When it’s YOUR parent’s social security, YOUR school districts decrease in funding, YOUR communities loss of a safety net — will Mr. Ryan still bring in the needed votes?  As the Times lead editorial says: Voters will now be able to see with painful clarity just what the Republican Party has in store for them. 

A Risky Rationale Behind Romney’s Choice of Ryan

When a prudent candidate like Mitt Romney picks someone like Representative Paul D. Ryan of Wisconsin as his running mate, it suggests that he felt he held a losing position against President Obama.

Vice-presidential choices are inherently risky to a degree, but the risks are asymmetric, and weighted toward the downside: it’s far easier to name choices who undermined campaigns than those who helped them. The best way to mitigate that downside risk is to select someone who has been tested on a national stage before, ideally by having run for president themselves — or failing that, by having been elected multiple times from a large and diverse state.

Mr. Ryan is a national figure of some repute — before Saturday morning, hisnational name recognition was about 50 percent — but he has never been elected to anything larger than his Congressional district of about 700,000 people. Members of the House of Representatives have only occasionally been selected as running mates. The last one on a winning ticket was John Nance Garner, the speaker of the House, in 1932.

Silver is good, so read it all.

The New Yorker is awash with articles on this choice, here, here and here.  My  favorite is by Jane Mayer: Ayn Rand Joins the Ticket  Rand is a declared hero to Ryan; her atheism should be a big hit to Romney supporters….

And, to couple to this, are two articles about the recent polls — as Silver also reports.

Charles Blow:

 …a series of recent polls paints a worrisome picture for Mitt Romney in the run-up to his party’s national convention. Three polls — from CNN/ORC, Fox News and Reuters/Ipsos — were released this week. President Obama’s lead over Romney ranged from 7 points to 9 points.

The Fox News poll showed Obama with his highest level of support this year.

So what gives? Is this real? Is it a fluke?

It’s hard to say, but there are some theories.

Romney spends so much time hiding, dodging and trying to say nothing specific that when he does show up — and speak up — he bungles it.

The Washington Post has it’s own report:

A bumpy overseas trip and a month of pummeling by Democratic ads depicting Mitt Romney as an out-of-touch plutocrat and possible tax evader appear to have taken a toll.

Three polls released in the last few days show President Obama widening his lead over the former Massachusetts governor to as much as nine points.

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