Ryan Pick Might Energize Conservatives, Might Leave Some Ohio Voters Disappointed

Aug 13, 2012

This was the week that many thought likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney would select US Senator Rob Portman of Cincinnati as his running mate. On Saturday, Romney announced Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin would be joining him on the ticket.

David Cohen is a professor of political science at the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron. Cohen says he thought Romney would pick Portman, who Cohen describes as the “safest” choice”. And he says while Ryan will rile up the Republican base in Ohio, he’ll be a target because of his controversial budget.

"I think it's going to hurt him with independents in Ohio, and I think especially with seniors.  I think you're going to see the Obama campaign and its surrogates really go after Ryan and the Ryan budget and really what the implications are for Medicare," says Cohen.

Ryan’s budget would allow Medicare, the health insurance program for senior citizens, to be run largely by private insurers starting in 2023. Democrats have seized on that as an early rallying point in their criticisms of Ryan as Romney’s VP selection. President Obama won Ohio in 2008 – and no Republican has won the White House without taking Ohio.