A newly released poll commissioned by Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) Democratic opponent, Kenosha County Supervisor Rob Zerban, makes an astonishing claim: That he is in striking distance of Ryan, the House Republican star and architect of their proposals to privatize Medicare.
The poll was conducted by the Democratic firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates, from back in October 27 through November 2, and has a ±4.9% margin of error. When asked by TPM why the campaign waited so long to release the numbers, an adviser to Zerban told us: "We knew that Paul Ryan's extreme economic agenda to end Medicare and give another big tax cut to Wall Street bankers was going to be the same today as it was last week."
It finds that the district has become split down the middle politically. President Obama's favorability rating is tied at 48%-48%, while Gov. Scott Walker's is similarly at 48%-49%. Meanwhile, Congress's institutional approval is only 19%, with 74% disapproval.
From the polling memo:
All of this background has weakened incumbent Paul Ryan, who used to enjoy electoral and image majorities well over 60%. Ryan's favorable rating has declined to 54% positive, his job rating is 55% and his reelect is 54%--all this before the beginning of an active campaign against Ryan. When voters hear positive information about Rob Zerban and Paul Ryan, Ryan's support weakens further to 52%. Rob Zerban's description receives a better than 3 to 1 positive reaction.
And, after respondents hear one additional paragraph description linking Ryan to the Republican leadership in Congress and describing his authorship of the House budget plan, his support falls below 50% and his favorable rating becomes like Obama's and Walker's--dead even at 46% positive and 46% negative...Rob Zerban trails Ryan by only six points after this very brief exposition of Ryan's signature idea, 49-43%, with undecideds holding nearly unanimously negative views of Congress in general and more than 80% saying they have either a negative or neutral feeling toward Ryan at the end of the poll.