Obama’s bump = Paul Ryan?
September 28, 2012 Leave a comment
There’s quite the interesting debate going on among political scientists on twitter, FB, and the blogs about just how damaging the 47% was to Romney. John Sides concludes that he’s 30% certain it’s responsible for a 1% swing to Obama. Personally, I’m 60% certain it’s responsible for more than that. Leaving all that aside, Noam Scheiber makes a pretty compelling case– by looking at internals of various polls now and before the Ryan selection– that Ryan has done serious damage to Romney:
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 as 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.
So, yes, the “47 percent” is a big deal. But the likely upshot is to prevent Romney from getting up off the mat, not to knock him down in the first place. It’s Ryan who deserves credit for that.
I must say, those numbers do make a pretty good case. I’d actually be even more persuaded if we could see a consistently larger movement on the Medicare issue in swing states vs. uncontested states. Of course, there’s not exactly a lot of polling in uncontested states.