Sunday, July 10, 2016
Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, 2012 Vice Presidential nominee, upholder of the Establishment flame, Big Man around Washington, has plummeted in the polls.
A poll of likely Republican voters shows House Speaker Paul Ryan well below 50 percent in his race to maintain his seat in Wisconsin’s first Congressional district.
The poll was conducted by P.M.I., with 424 respondents randomly called from a file of 11,000 likely GOP primary voters. It shows that with one month remaining before Wisconsin’s August 9th vote, Ryan is polling at 43 percent.
Ryan’s challenger, Wisconsin businessman Paul Nehlen, is polling at 32 percent.
The Nehlen campaign notes that Ryan’s 43 percent “represents a drop of more than 30 points since the Nehlen campaign began polling likely Republican primary voters earlier in the year.”
Incumbents rarely lose because they have the benefit of the political machine every incumbent has. Plus familiarly with an office holder gives them an advantage with the public unless they do something really wrong. In this year of anti-establishment political ferment, Ryan has made a serious error: he uses Obama’s moral poses.
The pose of moral one-upmanship expressed by the phrase “that’s not who we are” is one of both Obama’s and Ryan’s favorites. Want to control illegal immigration? “That’s not who we are” is not going to cut it even with independents, much less Republicans. Want to take a look at the damage free trade agreements have done to working men and women? “That’s not who we are” is the reason thousands are unable to find work because their jobs are going to foreign labor. Want to pause the influx of thousands of Muslims from the Middle East until we can figure out which ones want to kill us? “That’s not who we are” is not and argument, it’s a put down.
“That’s not who we are” dismisses the concerns that people have about the direction of the country. It’s not designed to make a case, it’s the equivalent of “Shut Up! He Explained”
Of course Ryan is a leading opponent of Donald Trump which is not sitting well a lot of Republicans.
Former Ryan supporters are very disenchanted.
Sonya Naryshkin from Whitewater, Wisconsin had been a Ryan supporter for years before he began championing policies, which, she says, go against the interests of Wisconsin voters.”I had been a big supporter of Paul Ryan’s, I have pictures with him, I’ve gone to Washington to visit with him,” Naryshkin said. “But then he started supporting things that are not in line with our Constitution. He turned to the dark side. He’s totally subscribed to the New World Order.”
Naryshkin, who now supports Paul Nehlen, noted that this is the first year she will not attend the annual Wisconsin GOP fundraising cruise, which Ryan regularly attends.
Nick Gianitsos, a physician from Darien, Wisconsin, said that he too had originally been a big Ryan supporter.
“We hosted fundraisers for Paul Ryan for many years. I was there at the beginning with him back in 1998,” Gianitsos said. “Ryan would say something in this district and he’d sound like the second coming of Calvin Coolidge, but then he’d go to the land of the Lotus Eaters and all of these things [Ryan had said] would change, and suddenly we’d get TPP, and globalism, and crony capitalism.”
Gianitsos noted that Wisconsin voters have “seen a distinct change since Ryan has become Speaker of the House.”
“We now see the Paul Ryan smirk,” Gianitsos said. “We now see him talking down to us instead of being our neighbor. Ryan says [things like], ‘It’s not in our DNA.’ And ‘this is not who we are.’ [But] this is who we are. Isn’t he supposed to be one of us? I think he’s gotten this bravado ever since taking the Speakership maybe because he thinks he’s more insulated from the people because he’s the Speaker. You know, [he thinks] ‘who’s going to un-elect the Speaker?'”
Naryshkin agreed, explaining that since Ryan became Speaker, “the doors of communication to Ryan have totally closed.”
It would not be the first time that a Speaker has lost an election. Paul Ryan may think there are bigger things in his political future. Based on these polls and the reaction of his constituents, he's in for a big surprise.
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