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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Exclusive Fla Insider Poll: One in 3 GOPers worry Paul Ryan hurts Romney in Fla



flainsider.jpgHe's put entitlement reform at the center of the presidential race, and there's little reason to think he'll win over Hispanic voters. So does Paul Ryan help Mitt Romnney in Florida or hurt him?

Our latest Florida Insider Poll surveyed 117 of Florida most plugged in and experienced political minds - campaign consultants, fundraisers, lobbyists, activists -  and found nine out of 10 Democrats see him hurting Romney in Florida and one in three Republicans agreeing.

"While I think Paul Ryan was a much bolder choice than I would have thought Mitt Romney would have  made, I think it bodes trouble here in Florida with seniors given the "Ryan Plan & Medicare." If Cong. Ryan can lay out the plan to seniors without "wonkifying" it,
maybe they have a chance," said one Republican.

Crowed a Democrat:"Romney has had a problem with Hispanics and Women. Paul Ryan not only
doesn't help but does harm with both groups. The Hispanics Romney had backing from was the hardliner Cubans, where Ryan voted 3 times to lift the embargo. He does real harm to the ticket with Seniors, while bringing nothing to the ticket overall to expand their
coalition. And on top of how the Ryan budget plays with seniors, it creates opportunities with other issues including cuts to infrastructure (See Everglades restoration), massive cuts to NASA, slashes the farm bill spending on research in things like Citrus greening and canker."

Overall among the 117 Insider Poll participants - 62 Republicans, 48 Democrats, and seven independents - 58 percent said Ryan hurt Romney in Florida and 42 percent said he helps him. While one third of Republicans suggested House budget chief Ryan created a problem, an overwhelming majority was enthusiastic about him on the ticket.

"Florida seniors are behaviorally conservative. (Look at exits from 2004, 2008 Pres and 2010 Senate and even in the BEST year the Dems get 47% tops.) They might not love the hypothetical Ryan plan but they HATE the actual Obamacare law. The Democrats think the Ryan plan is the secret sauce for winning Florida, and that 2008 was a benchmark. In 2008 McCain was largely off the air and dead in FL by the convention. Romney will have the $ and the will to fight it out here."

Said another Republican: Ryan has two effects: he excites the base and, more mportantly, shifts the focus of the debate on to substantive issues -- national debt and fiscal Policy. This was a smart, energizing move for the Romney campaign."

Asked whether Florida Sen. Marco Rubio would have been a better pick for Romney, 44 percent said yes and 55 percent disagreed. A slight majority of Democrats thought Rubio would have been a better running mate choice for Romney, but 60 percent of Republicans disagreed.

Our Democratic Political Insiders remain more optimistic about the presidential race than the Republicans, which has been consistent over the past year. Nearly 94 percent of Democrats expect Obama to win Florida, and 98 percent expect him to win the election. By contrast, nearly 73 percent of Republican Insiders expect Romney to win Florida, and 60 percent expect the former Massachusetts governor to win the national election.

Our Florida Insiders this month were: Apryl Marie Fogel, Ann Herberger, Damien Filer, Dave Aronberg, Ashley walker, Dylan Sumner, Ben Pollara, Kathy Mears, Brian Ballard, Jim Kitchens, Meredith Orourke, Kirk Wagar, Adam Goodman, Bill McBride, Jim Davis, Al Cardenas, Kirk Pepper, Nancy Watkins, Screven Watson, Ron Sachs, Karl Koch, Stephen Shiver, Peter Schorsch, Michelle Todd, Marion Hammer, Rich Heffley, Tim Baker, Thomas Eldon, David Johnson, Greg Turbeville, Ryan Tyson, Rich Heffley, Sarah Rumpf, Roger Stone, Nancy McGowan, Mark Ferrulo, Robert Coker, James Harris, Monica Russo, John Dowless, Justin Day, Eric Jotkoff, Van Poole, Rockie Pennington, Eric Johnson, Jim Rimes, Jamie Miller, Cynthia Henderson, Cory Tilley, Jackie Lee, Henry Kelley, Rick Wilson, Paul Bradshaw, Mitchell Berger, David Beattie, Robert Levy, Bill Helmich, John Morgan, Christian Ulvert, Greg Truax, Jamie Wilson, Andrew Gillum, Husein Cumber, Donald Hinkle, Stephen Bittel, John French, Steve Geller, Brett Doster, Sandy Saffley, Todd Wilder, Marc Reichelderfer, Alex Patton, Stephanie Kunkel, Jill Chamberlin, Darryl Paulson, Tom Gaitens, Amber Stoner, Scott Arceneaux, Mike Hightower, Gus Corbella, Alia Faraj-Johnson, Steve Uhlfelder, Towson Fraser, Michael Albetta, Ellen Freidin, Stephanie Grutman, Marty Fiorentino, Mike Hamby, Ana Navarro, Chris Ingram, Jim Kane, Dan Gelber, Frank Tsamoutales, Richard Swann, Abel Harding, Sally Bradshaw, Bob Poe, Bud Shorstein, Aubrey Jewett, Tom Tillison, Lucy Morgan, Kirk Fordham, Mel Sembler, Vincent Harris, Susie Wiles, Alex Burgos, Alex Sink, Derek Newton, John Stemberger, Cindy Graves, Andrew Weinstein, Kathleen Shanahan, Sam Bell, Christina Johnson.

[Last modified: Saturday, August 18, 2012 3:16pm]


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