Romney's VP selection rating lowest: poll

Updated: 2012-08-14 09:02


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Romney's VP selection rating lowest: poll

US Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks during a campaign stop in St. Augustine, Florida August 13, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]

WASHINGTON - Americans' initial reaction toward US Republican presumed nominee Mitt Romney's selection of running mate gained lowest rating in more than two decades, a USA Today/Gallup poll released on Monday said.

The poll found that 42 percent of Americans viewed Paul Ryan, Romney's vice presidential running mate announced on Saturday, as a "fair" or "poor" choice by Romney campaign while 39 percent believed the pick was "excellent" or "pretty good."

Historical data from USA Today/Gallup showed the last vice- presidential candidate to perform worse than Ryan in the poll shortly after the announcement was Dan Quayle, dated back to 1988.

Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse said in a statement that the low rating was partly due to the fact that Ryan has not been nationally known.

Forty-eight percent said Ryan would be ready to step in as president if the situation should arise, while 29 percent said he was not ready, and 23 percent undecided.

Seventeen percent said they would be more likely to vote for Romney in November with Ryan as his running mate, about the same impact as former VP candidate Sarah Palin had for the former presidential candidate John McCain in 2008.

The 42-year-old Wisconsin lawmaker in his seventh term, who chairs the US House of Representatives Budget Committee, has been leading the Congressional Republicans' efforts this year to bring their own fiscal year 2013 budget plan, dubbed as "Ryan Budget," against the Obama administration's plan.

Romney on Saturday acclaimed Ryan as the "intellectual leader" of the Republican Party with "great steadiness." Ryan, a long favorite of conservatives, is also expected to help solidify the credentials of Romney, who has been labeled as a flip-flopper in policies by his opponents inside the party.

Both sides have moved quickly to clash over Romney's VP choice following Saturday's announcement. The Obama campaign has focused its attacks on the Ryan budget, trying to portray Romney's running mate as "the architect of the radical Republican House budget" which aimed at tax cutting for millionaires and slashing Medicare program.

Republicans hailed the choice of Ryan, expecting the Republican presidential ticket to reinforces campaign focus in economic and fiscal issues.

Another poll co-conducted by Washington Post and ABC News poll showed on Monday that Ryan enjoyed a favorable viewed by 38 percent of Americans, compared to 33 percent negative.