The Republican budget plan drafted by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has created a — yes, we’ll say it — shitstorm of problems for Republicans around the country because of a key component that would dramatically change Medicare.
Here in Colorado, freshman Rep. Cory Gardner has been furiously trying to spin the Medicare piece of “The Ryan Plan” to make it appear less horrible to average voters. In CD-3, Republican Rep. Scott Tipton is facing the same problems. But all the spin in the world on various pieces of “The Ryan Plan” may not do much to help Gardner and Tipton if Paul Ryan himself remains as unpopular as he is in a new poll. As Politico reports:
Democrats are winning the messaging war on Rep. Paul Ryan’s bid to overhaul Medicare, with a new Bloomberg poll finding 57 percent of Americans believe they would be worse off under his plan.
Only 34 percent said they would be better off if Congress replaced “traditional Medicare” with a program to purchase private insurance with government subsidies, as Ryan has proposed.
The poll also found Ryan is now the nation’s third most disliked Republican, with net unfavorable ratings that trail only former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Yikes! This creates a whammy of a messaging problem for Gardner and Tipton, because any attack ads in 2012 can double-down on the rhetoric for better effect. We can already see the ad: [insert scary voice] Cory Gardner voted to approve Paul Ryan’s budget plan that would destroy Medicare as we know it.
Not only would this message hurt Gardner (and Tipton) because of people angry with the proposed Medicare changes — it also hurts with people who don’t like Paul Ryan.
Thanks a lot, budget wunderkind!