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Flash Poll: Ryan Pick Solidifies Ticket Differences, State Politicos Say

In a Patch survey, California GOP activists laud Paul Ryan for his fiscal conservatism and brainpower, while Democrats predict the choice could help Obama.

California Democratic insiders are crowing about Mitt Romney’s choice of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate, saying the pick helps the Obama campaign, according to a Patch snap poll conducted over the weekend.

Republicans, meanwhile, said adding Ryan to the ticket could refocus the presidential campaign on economic issues and sway undecided voters—though not enough to turn the tide in true-blue California, some said.

Patch sent survey questions to 79 Republican and 63 Democratic party activists and elected officials within 48 hours of Romney’s announcement. Twenty-one Democrats and 21 Republicans responded.

More than three-quarters of Democratic respondents said Romney’s choice of Ryan—the chairman of the House Budget Committee and a strong advocate for cutting taxes and domestic spending—would galvanize California Democrats. 

The pick “cements the image of Romney as ideologically committed to dismantling public support for middle class needs (education, health, broad based employment),” one Democrat wrote.

Eighty-one percent of Democrats strongly or somewhat agreed that Ryan’s presence on the GOP ticket would help Obama win senior citizens’ votes in California, while 90 percent agreed with the statement: "Now that Ryan is on the ticket, Democrats can win by running against Ryan's existing budget plans and particularly his proposal for Medicare."

Republicans: Choice Will Energize GOP Base

Republicans who responded to the unscientific survey cited Ryan’s fiscal conservatism and ability to appeal to the GOP base as strong selling points.

The pick “shows Romney is serious about addressing fiscal and economic issues,” one Republican wrote.

“It provides a theme for the Romney campaign that didn't exist before,” added another. “It also hopefully moves the dialogue away from Romney's personal finances and experiences at Bain Capital.”

Forty-eight percent of Republicans agreed that Ryan could help win over California’s undecided voters, while 43 percent disagreed and 10 percent were neutral.

“It will definitely energize the GOP base, but him on the ticket doesn't suddenly put California in play,” one insider commented. California hasn't gone for a Republican presidential candidate since George Bush over Michael Dukakis in 1988

Regardless of California’s fate, more than three-quarters of Republicans disagreed that the Democrats could win nationally by attacking Ryan’s budget plans, while only 10 percent agreed. And some even expressed hope that Californians could learn from the VP pick’s tough talk on budgeting.

“The pick of Ryan will help educate voters in California about the importance of limited government and how we cannot spend our way into prosperity,” wrote one Republican.

Insiders from both parties characterized Ryan as smart and charismatic.

“Whether or not someone agrees with his politics, the Paul Ryan VP candidacy provides a worthy adversary to the Obama-Biden campaign and a clear distinction between the two tickets,” one Democrat wrote.

Patch’s Red and Blue California Surveys

Our surveys are not a scientific random sample of any larger population but rather an effort to listen to a swath of influential local Republican and Democratic activists, party leaders and elected officials in California. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in the surveys, although not all responded to this weekend's questions.

Patch will be conducting Red California and Blue California surveys throughout 2012 in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and liberals on the ground in California. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in weekly surveys that last just a few minutes, please email Sandra.Oshiro@Patch.com.

Red California Survey roster: Richard Adams (Studio City Neighborhood Council safety chief); Gary Aminoff (San Fernando Valley Republicans president); Michael Antonovich (Los Angeles County supervisor); Steve Baric (California Republican Party vice chair); Tony Beall (Rancho Santa Margarita City Council member); Susan Blau (Studio City political activist); Dion Bracco (Gilroy Council member, mayoral candidate); Daniel M. Brown (San Francisco GOP Central Committee member); Sue Caro (County GOP chairwoman); Scott Carpenter (Orange County political blogger); Tamara Colbert (Tea Party member); John Colbert (Former Republican candidate for Congress); Dylan Conroy (Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council representative); Irene DeBlasio (Republican activist); Steve Detrick (Elk Grove City Council member) Ben DiBenedetto (Studio City Neighborhood Council board member); Jane Diehl (Redondo Beach school board member); Chip Dykes (Oceanside City Council candidate); Laura Emdee (Redondo Beach school board member); Heidi Gallegos (Rowland Unified School District Board member); Andrew Gayner Carmichael (Patch blogger); Mike Gin (Redondo Beach mayor); Gil Gonzalez (State Senate candidate); David Hall (Mt. San Antonio College Board trustee); Alex Keledjian (La Canada Flintridge Young Republicans president); Ernest Koeppen (La Canada Flintridge resident); Becky Kolberg (Contra Costa GOP chair); Bob Kowell (Murrieta-Temecula Republican Assembly president); Greg Krikorian (State Assembly candidate); Jim Light (Balanced-growth advocate); Patrice Lynes (Activist); Morgan Martinez (former governor aide); Larry Masuoka (San Juan Unified School District Board member); Brad McGirr (Rancho Santa Margarita planning commissioner) Gina McNelley (Capistrano Valley Republican Women Federated member) Bridget Melson (East Bay Tea Party chair); Mark Meuser (State Senate candidate); Nathan Mintz (Former AD66 candidate); Larry Molton (California GOP member); Roger Niello (Sacramento County Chamber of Commerce president); Gayle Pacheco (Republican Women Federated member); Chris Pareja (Congressional candidate); Al Phillips (State Assembly candidate); Al Restivo (Former La Canada Republicans Club president); Matt Rexroad (Yolo County supervisor); Elizabeth Sanford (political consultant); Scott Schmidt (Former LA Chapter Log Cabin Republicans president); Howard Schmidt (Chief of staff for Sacramento County supervisor); Nick Shih (Activist); Suzanne St. John (Activist); Mary Su (Walnut mayor); Gino Sund (Altadena Town Council member); Peter Tateishi (State Assembly candidate); Brad Torgan (LA Chapter Log Cabin Republicans president); Steve Vaus (City budget review committee member); Bob Walters (Former San Juan Unified School Board member); John Webb (Businessman).

Blue California roster: Armando Gomez (city councilman); Anita Avrick (school board member); Michael Barber (supervisor); Reginald Bronner (assembly candidate); Kathy Bisbee (CMAP executive director); Jennifer Browning (campaign volunteer); David Burruto (county party chair); Ralph Carhart (recreation and parks district board member); Cat Tucker (mayor pro tempore); Nancy Chaires (planning commissioner); Jay Chen (congressional candidate); Norman Chramoff (party member); Ken Cooley (city councilman); Joice Corridori (political activist); Payne Domingo (school board trustee); Don Helverson (teacher); James Donnelly (Democratic Club president); John Duran (city councilman); Pablo Espinoza (media director); Lucas Frerichs (city councilman); Gary Blenner (teacher); Gary Giacomo (Democratic Club member); Joanne Gifford (DNC delegate); Alan Haskvitz (teacher); Lindsey Horvath (city council member); Howard Hwang (party member) Ilona Saari (author); Juliana Inman (city council member); Jeff Kravitz (attorney); John Walker (neighborhood council president); Sarah Johnson (community activist); Jessie Kallman (Democratic Club executive director); Michael Kapp (political activist); Ro Khanna (former Obama administration official); Kris Kingdon (former chamber executive director); Karen Knecht (Democratic Club member); Keith LaMar (activist); Kristina Lawson (city council member); Linda Rubin (party member); Todd Loewenstein (school board member); Mary Ann Mancuso (party member); Marc Perkel (church founder); Marla Hart (party member); Marsha Grilli (school board member); Jennifer Mason Wolfe (teacher); Michelle Garcia (party member); Richard M. Mathews (LACDP vice-chair, Region 1); Gary Miller (county party central committee member); Katrina Morales (activist); Harry Munns (harbor commissioner); Mark Nielsen (former mayor); Don Nottoli (supervisor); Peter Arellano (council member); Jeffrey Prang (mayor); Diana Prola (school board member); Kish Rajan (city council member); Tony Santos (former mayor); Tim Sbranti (mayor); Jane Schafer-Kramer (labor union activist); Bob Schelen (county party chair); Darren Suen (former city council candidate); Joe Terry (talk show host); Robin Torello (Democrat Club chairwoman); James Tsai (party member); Mark van Gorder (supervisor candidate); Vince Monroy (communications director); Jill Wain Meniatis (Democratic Club member); Lee Walkup (party member); Sheila Young (former mayor); Laurence Zakson (convention delegate)

Sandra Oshiro contributed to this report.

What do you think about Mitt Romney's choice of a running mate? Tell us in the comments.

Kathi September 01, 2012 at 06:40 AM
met00, well several problems w what you propose. Return to the 1958 tax code adjusted for inflation. You overlook the fact that the govt has grown considerably since 1958. SS was around then, but I think a bunch of additional things have been added to it since that time such as SSI so that its not just paying out retirement to those who paid in. In addition there is Medicare & Medicaid. The 1st 2 were supposedly funded by us paying into them, but they are not actuarially sound. & then govt, because of all the "goodies" they have promised to people above & beyond what is coming in, our national debt is growing & has exploded under Obama. I did not make a mistake in choosing the plan that I did. I choose the Medicare Advantage plan which is a partnership between Medicare & private ins co's--in my case, Blue Shield. It offers increased benefits & low co-pays. I do not pay premiums above Medicare Part B & they just completely covered cataract surgery for me. They also have wellness benefits which hopefully will be a win-win. This is the best option for my situation. While congress does have to act, the President should lead. You may think you will just get back what you paid in, but they didn't set it up that way. & w congress & the Executive office setting up way more Dept & programs that weren't around before, we have more hogs to feed so to speak. What you are proposing would only work if they trimmed govt back to 1958 levels & then maybe it would work.
Kathi September 01, 2012 at 06:54 AM
I sure hope those posting here are not solely depending on SS for retirement. It was never intended to fund all of what a person needs but only to supplement. Pensions are going away, so that means that most people need to be investing their $. I work w middle income families to help them plan & when I ask young families if they want to count on SS, most just laugh. They are smart enough to realize there won't be nearly enough to be very helpful for them. Take a look at what Dave Ramsey says about this. I do agree that it would be good to raise the limits on IRA & Roth contributions. Currently those who do not have a 401k or similar through work are not able to put away as much $ as those who do. Most people need some wise counsel on investing to help them come up w an appropriate strategy & to stick w it so that they end up w what they will need at the end. its really not that complicated, but too many gamble & chase returns & end up losing rather than having an appropriate strategy & sticking w it. Unfortunately too many people don't know what they don't know & think they can figure it out on their own. They could w research, but most are ruled by their emotions which doesn't work well w investing. Those 401k plans where the value dropped, should have recovered--if they were left invested & in appropriate investments in the 1st place. But too many turn a paper loss into an actual loss by panicking & selling when the market is down.
Kathi September 01, 2012 at 07:13 AM
Btw, Medicaid is in even worse shape than the other 2 programs & the demographics are such it will get even worse. The big reason for that is that most long term care expenses end up being paid by Medicaid. People could plan & purchase long term care insurance if they aren't wealthy enough to self-fund care. & that is what middle income people should do, after making sure they are on track for retirement. There are some long term care "planners" who try to advise people who could afford to buy long term care (LTC) insurance to instead use schemes to transfer their $ or otherwise get it out of their name so that they can qualify to have the state pay for their care. They don't tell them that the care may not be what they would want. Longer wait times to get into nursing homes. & it currently doesn't cover intermediate care type places like "assisted living" or so-called board & care homes. Plus Medicaid should be for the truly needy--not for those who could have planned & taken care of themselves. But LTC #s are scary. the large baby boom generation is starting to age into the system so in the coming years, Medicaid costs will skyrocket to pay for it. & there may be a shortage of care providers at all levels. btw, I didn't make this up. I have to take continuing educ for LTC ins & they have been warning about this for years. But nothing much has been done except the CA & LTC ins co's have the Partnership for LTC to help people get covered.
met00 September 01, 2012 at 08:19 AM
"at some point people are getting back more than they paid in." Some are, some aren't. Paul Ryan's father didn't. And I doubt that the survivors benefit that Ryan got and went to college on used even 10% of the investment. Actuaries can tell you what the real numbers are, but my guess is that it works out that some that put in get nothing, and others get more than they put in, but it isn't "picking the pocket" of future generations if Greenspan's formula is used. "So what you paid in, funds earlier retirees, & your retirement comes out of $ paid in by later retirees. So its really a ponzi scheme." Not according to Greenspan's numbers. But if they repeat that lie long enough the gullible will believe it. "& a big problem w it is demographics. There is the large baby boom generation who are starting to receive benefits." Benefits they paid for. It's not an entitlement, it's a benefit program. My mother and father BOTH paid into it. After my father passed my mother ha d a choice, her benefits or his. He didn't come close to tapping out what he paid in. If she lives to 95 she MAY actually pull out more than they both contributed. Like I said, talk to actuaries and you will see that it is designed to work, and will with the cap set to Greenspan's numbers. "The $ is NOT invested in T-bills. It would be better if it were, but it isn't!" WRONG! http://www.ssa.gov/oact/progdata/fundFAQ.html Research before you post.
met00 September 01, 2012 at 08:27 AM
You say that the 1958 tax code doesn't work? Based on what? What factual data do you have that it will not work? Since 1980, with the exception of the last four years of Clinton, we have been playing "trickle down" and all it did was create income inequality and move all the assets to the top. There was a reason that the tax code was basically left unchanged from when FDR changed it in the Depression until 1961 under Kennedy. It not only brought in more than was spent, but also brought in enough to almost wipe out the entire WW-II and New Deal debt. With interest. We know that the FDR-DDE tax code worked. We know the Reagan-Bush tax code has NOT worked. Now we can continue to do what doesn't work, or return to doing what did work and see if it will get us out of the hole we dug ourselves into. Read Stockman's book. "Trickle Down" was bullcrap, and he knew it. It was all about transferring wealth from the expanding middle class back to the super-wealthy. Read his book. He implemented it and he has come clean on what it was all about.

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