As Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) budget advances toward the finishing line in the Republican-led House, a new Rasmussen poll shows Ryan flailing with a 15 point drop from August of 2012, when Mitt Romney picked him as his Vice Presidential candidate. Ryan’s personal favorability now mirrors the approval of his budget at 35%.
Republicans have embraced Ryan’s “budget” (how can it be a budget when the math has never been done?), which turns Medicare into a voucher system, slashes funding for domestic agencies like the FBI and Border Security, and takes aim at Medicaid and Obamacare. Of course, the budget Ryan authored exempts the Pentagon from cuts. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 66% of his budget cuts take aim at programs for people of low to moderate income.
While the GOP claims its rebranding, the party’s support of Ryan’s budget says nothing has changed except the language they use to sell their policies.
Republicans support Ryan’s budget even as Ryan plunges in the polls — even Republicans think less of the Wisconsin Republican than they did in August of 2012. According to a new Rasmussen poll, Ryan’s favorability tanked to just 35% among all likely voters, which is a 15 point drop from his heyday as Mitt Romney’s running mate.
A whopping 54% view Paul Ryan unfavorably, with 12% undecided.
A separate Rasmussen poll determined that 35% favor Ryan’s budget plan with 49% opposed and 16% undecided. However, “It was described as a plan to balance the budget in 10 years without raising taxes but cutting spending by nearly $5 trillion in areas including Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security but not defense.” That description is hopeful at best, since Ryan has still not done the math and his budget lacks specifics. There is no reason to assume his plan would balance the budget in ten years or even twenty years as it stands currently. Perhaps the Republicans are seeking solace in the numbers for Senator Patty Murray’s budget, which only got 19% favorability in the same poll.
Ryan’s personal approval rating now matches that of his budget, which is no accident. Paul Ryan has become synonymous with his draconian budgets, based on ideas he read about in fiction novels for juveniles by Ayn Rand. He became rather infamous during the 2012 campaign for being unable to explain his budget, failing to do the math, and having his budget labeled immoral by Nuns.
So what we have here is Republicans spending millions of dollars to rebrand their party, while they embrace a very unpopular congressman’s budget plan, which itself is not so popular. Republicans cling to their alleged “wonk” Paul Ryan at their own peril.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.