As John notes, Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan appears not to have moved the needle, as yet, in the presidential race. But the selection of Ryan has moved the needle on Ryan, and in his favor.
According to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, favorable impressions of Ryan have jumped 15 percentage points among the overall electorate. In Wednesday through Friday interviews, 45 percent of Americans expressed no opinion of Ryan. However, that number dropped to 30 percent on Saturday and Sunday, with all of the increased familiarity falling on the positive side of the ledger.
In interviews after the selection, 38 percent of all Americans expressed favorable views of Ryan, 33 percent negative ones. Before the the announcement, Ryan was somewhat underwater, scoring 23 percent favorable and 32 percent unfavorable. The initial movement was positive among independents as well, with his “favorables” doubling from 19 to 39 percent.
This polling reflects only the initial reaction to Ryan, of course. How he will be viewed as the campaign progresses, and after Team Obama tries to savage him, remains to be seen. In this regard, it may be worth noting that the initial reaction to Ryan is less positive overall than was the initial reaction to Sarah Palin. Moreover, John Edwards received the best initial reaction of any recent VP nominee, while Dan Quayle received the worst.
We know how those elections turned out.