Has Paul Ryan Killed Romney’s Chances?

Noam Scheiber at The New Republic thinks so.

Back in late August, Obama led Romney on the question of who would handle Medicare better by 8 points in Florida and 10 points in Ohio; now he’s up 15 in Florida and 16 in Ohio. And the problems are especially acute among senior citizens, a group Obama has traditionally struggled with. A month ago, Obama was down 13 points in Florida among people 65 and older; today he’s up 4. On the specific question of Medicare, Obama was down 4 points among Florida seniors in August; today he’s up 5 points….

…The numbers for Ohio are similar: In August, Obama was down 8 among seniors in the state; today he’s up 1. A month ago Obama was down 6 points among Ohio seniors on the Medicare issue; today he’s up 6. The turnaround here is simply breathtaking.

Interestingly, the early post-Ryan polling actually showed the GOP ticket gaining groundon Medicare, if only by disingenuously accusing Obama of cutting $716 billion from the program to pay for healthcare reform. (Ryan had proposed identical cuts, except in his case they would have been refunded to the wealthy as tax cuts.) But that that was before the Democrats joined the fight. Since then, the Dems have relentlessly attacked the Ryan plan, both at their convention and on the campaign trail, and the numbers have followed suit. It’s hard to believe Obama would have had the success he’s had here without Ryan himself on the ticket.

I have to agree. Mitt Romney gambled on Paul Ryan as well as his budget(s). With so few specifics coming from the Romney camp, Democrats have been able to hang the Ryan budget, along with its Medicare restructure, around his neck.  Perhaps he thought the baby boomer generation was ready for budget cuts to their most beloved programs, Social Security and Medicare. He was wrong.

That, however, will be a topic for a future post.

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