Enough time has passed from Paul Ryan’s addition to the GOP ticket for us to take a hard look at how he’s changed the race.
Just before the VP announcement, Gallup reported a 46%-46% tie. Some commentators, however, had Obama taking a moderate lead, while others said it was a statistical blip in the polling. One of those was Mark Blumenthal, who pointed out correctly that daily tracking polls with bigger sample sizes consistently had the race tied.
Nevertheless, a barrage of smaller polls (some flawed and some perfectly fine) had Obama leading by decent margins – enough to convince even some conservatives like Laura Ingram to say that Romney was “losing the race.”
Adding Ryan to the GOP ticket seemed likely to move the needle back Romney’s way. Usually a VP announcement gives a candidate about a 4% boost in the days immediately after the choice. In Romney’s case, though, Gallup reported a very small bounce – about 2%. To honest, that’s pretty insignificant. Surveys show that the US reaction to Ryan’s selection has been one of the worst historically, but a bounce is a bounce.
Prior to Ryan’s pick, most major news outlets guaranteed that a solid VP choice would be the game-changer Romney needed to shake up the race. Mostly, he’s done that by pushing deficit reduction and entitlement reform into the spotlight. He’s also (sort of) put Wisconsin into play for Romney – though Obama still maintains a large lead in the Badger State.
But in the national polls, not much has changed. However, in a race in which 94% of voters have already picked sides, is that a surprise?