Paul Ryan Endorses Romney, New Poll Puts Romney Ahead In Wisconsin

The parade of elected and establishment Republicans getting behind Mitt Romney continued this morning with House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan being the latest Republican leader to say its time to end the race:

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.

The House budget chairman announced his endorsement on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends,” saying that while the contentious GOP primary process has “been constructive up until now,” it could soon become “counterproductive.”

“We need to coalesce as conservatives around Mitt Romney,” Ryan said. “The longer we drag it out the harder it is to win in November. … I am convinced that Mitt Romney has the skills, the tenacity, the principles , the courage and the integrity to put America back on track.”

Ryan added that, of the Republican presidential candidates, Romney “has the best chance of defeating Barack Obama in the fall.”

Wisconsin is holding its primary on Tuesday, but Ryan’s endorsement will resonates far outside his home state. Ryan, a proponent of deep cuts in entitlements and agency funding, has become the leading voice on debt and spending issues in the Republican party.

His blessing of Romney comes on the heels of endorsements from former Florida governor Jeb Bush, former president George H.W. Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)–clear signs that Republican leaders young and old, from both the tea party and establishment wings, are ready for this primary season to be over.

Speaking of that Wisconsin Primary, a new NBC News/Marist poll has Romney far ahead of his rivals:

In Wisconsin’s April 3 Republican contest, the former Massachusetts governor gets support from 40 percent of likely primary voters, including those who are undecided yet leaning toward a particular candidate. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum gets 33 percent, Texas Rep. Ron Paul gets 11 percent,  and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich gets 8 percent. Seven percent of respondents are undecided.

The poll – conducted March 26-27 – is consistent with the findings of a recent Marquette Law School survey, which found Romney leading Santorum by eight points. The Wisconsin race follows a familiar pattern: Romney holds the advantage over Santorum among liberal and moderate Republicans (43 percent to 24 percent), conservatives (42 percent to 33 percent), non-Tea Party supporters (42 percent to 31 percent), and those who earn $75,000 or more annually (47 percent to 32 percent).

Meanwhile, Santorum leads among very conservative primary voters (42 percent to 33 percent), strong Tea Party supporters (40 percent to 32 percent), and evangelical Christians (40 percent to 29 percent).

So far in all the GOP contests where there has been exit polling, Romney has won in every contest where evangelical voters have accounted for less than 50 percent of the electorate. And he has lost in every contest where that number has been higher than 50 percent.

The evangelical percentage among likely Wisconsin GOP primary voters, according to the NBC/Marist poll: 41 percent.

If these numbers hold up, then Romney will score a trifecta of wins on Tuesday. At that point,  it’s time for everyone to admit what we’ve actually known for a month now, that this race is over.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Hey Norm says:

    Two of the nations biggest fiscal frauds…a perfect match.
    Maybe Romney will pick Ryan as VP.
    Romney/Ryan sounds better than Romney/Rubio.
    I realize that shouldn’t be a criteria for picking VP’s…but when you can’t know the policy positions of the candidate…you aren’t left with much to work with.

  2. Santorum catches himself half way through calling Obama the N-Word:

  3. Hey Norm says:

    @ SD…
    Much as I would love to hear one of the Clow Car Posse say the “N” word…and I really would…I have a really hard time pinning that on Santorum for this.

  4. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    Hell, even the airheaded media finally has clued in that Romney is going to be the nominee and that he’ll obtain the nomination on the 1st ballot. Any further holdouts after next Tuesday’s contests will fall into the category of EEG flatliners.

  5. Hey Norm says:

    “…even the airheaded media finally has clued in…”

    which would explain why Ryan made his announcement on Fox and Friends…the show that defines air-headed media.

  6. @Hey Norm:

    There’s plenty of airheaded political analysis on MSNBC and CNN

  7. Is the new Ryan budget too dangerous for a Romney/Ryan ticket? Or has he moved back to something moderate enough? (I think he’s means-testing Social Security now, which strikes me as moderate.)

  8. Gustopher says:

    @john personna: Means testing Social Security is not moderate — it’s just the first step in destroying it.

    The cutoff line starts at some reasonable sounding number, and is then dropped over time until it starts affecting the middle class. It’s a tool to generate resentment against those who get the benefits.

    Also, it’s inherently unfair. The wealthy paid into the program, they’ve earned the benefits.

    And finally, it doesn’t save much money, unless and until the cutoff is dropped into the middle class. Mitt Romney won’t need his social security check, but putting the beauracracy in place to ensure he doesn’t get it is expensive and complicated. It’s a cut that doesn’t save any money until you cut deep.

    The system isn’t in trouble because of the checks going out to millionaires. The system is in trouble because the Republicans want to default on our obligations to the Social Security trust fund.

  9. Have a nice G.A. says:

    Two of the nations biggest fiscal frauds…a perfect match.

    lol…..This is for all of you who must think by all means necessary this indoctrinatedly silly…Enjoy:)

  10. Tsar Nicholas says:

    @Gustopher: Chief, you’ve got yourself all screwed up there.

    Social Security is in trouble because it’s a program that was started when the avg. life expectancy in the U.S. was age 62 and the population was under 130 million. Now the avg. life expectancy is 79 years and the population is over 300 million. It’s a function of math and demographics. Then there is the near-term event horizon snafu: That the Boomers (a huge generation that gainfully was employed throughout their entire lives) will need to have their benefits streams funded by the Baby Busters (a tiny generation which to a large extent is unemployable). Again, math and demographics.

    Republicans want to do the exact opposite of what you’re suggesting. Republicans want to safeguard those funds by getting younger people to set up private accounts, similar to HSA accounts, so that there are lesser obligations that will need to be funded by future generations. The less money that Uncle Sam needs to pay back to beneficiaries the less of a potential need there might be to cut benefits.

    Lastly, that final graf of yours is oxymoronic. There’s no obligation to the trust funds. The trust funds are what cover benefit payments to the beneficiaries (i.e., to current retirees). That’s where payroll taxes are sequestered. That’s where the money they take out of your paycheck goes. You do receive paychecks from an employer, don’t you?

    When the funding mechanism (the so-called “lock box”) can’t cover all the benefits those benefits will be reduced. If the system is not fixed that’s exactly what will happen to Gen. Y. They’ll be taxed at the same rates as prior generations, or even at higher rates, but they’ll just receive less after they retire. Assuming of course they ever retire.

    We need to wean people off the system. Mind you, not those already drawing benefits and not those who soon will draw benefits and for whom it’s too late to change course. Younger people need to be weaned off the system. Otherwise it won’t be there for them. Otherwise they’ll be paying for my full retirement, but they won’t receive all too much back in their own retirements. Again, if they ever retire.

    The HSA template is a good one. I suggest you study it in closer detail.

  11. An Interested Party says:

    Republicans want to do the exact opposite of what you’re suggesting. Republicans want to safeguard those funds by getting younger people to set up private accounts, similar to HSA accounts, so that there are lesser obligations that will need to be funded by future generations.

    Of course, when Republicans pushed this idea previously, it was a bust…certainly they are free to push this nonstarter again, with similar results, no doubt…meanwhile, it would be nice if an argument about Social Security was made using the facts rather than scary untruths…

  12. WR says:

    @An Interested Party: The Republicans are running around screaming that the government mandating citizens buy a product on the market is not only unconstitutional, but the death of freedom. At the same time, their new model of Social Security requires individuals to purchase some kind of retirement account. But that isn’t the death of freedom, it’s actually the definition of freedom.

    Want to explain that, Tsar?