New Jersey Republican and Democratic insiders believe Mitt Romney's VP pick will galvanize each of their parties in the state, but they're divided whether Paul Ryan is a better choice than Chris Christie.
Of the 24 Republican respondents to Patch's flash poll this weekend, 25 percent strongly agree and 25 percent strongly disagree with the statement, "Paul Ryan is a stronger VP candidate than Chris Christie would have been." Nearly 17 percent said they somewhat agreed with the statement, while 12.5 percent somewhat disagreed and 20.8 percent were not sure.
However, more than 50 percent of the 27 Democratic respondents either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that Ryan was the better choice, while 18.5 percent somewhat disagreed and 11.1 percent strongly disagreed.
While one GOP respondent said, "Glad C.C. Isnt the selection," another Republican said the New Jersey governor and Wisconsin congressman share similar ideas.
"I think supporters of Christie's reforms will welcome Ryan on the ticket," the respondent said. "He's Christie's ideological first cousin."
Republicans and Democrats agreed Ryan's selection will galvanize each of their parties in the state.
Half of the GOP respondents strongly agreed with the statement, "Mitt Romney's decision to choose Paul Ryan as his VP candidate will galvanize New Jersey Republicans." Another 25 percent somewhat agreed with the statement, while 12.5 percent somewhat disagreed and 4.2 percent strongly disagreed.
Democratic respondents were unsure if Ryan's selection would galvanize New Jersey Republicans with more than 25 percent saying they somewhat agree and the same amount saying they somewhat disagree.
"Ryan galvanizes the conservative base of the Republican Party," one GOP respondent said. "He brings a wealth of knowledge with regard to economic matters and helps define the economy as the number one issue in this election."
Nearly 50 percent of Democratic respondents somewhat agreed and another 30 percent strongly agreed that Ryan as the VP candidate will galvanize New Jersey Democrats.
Nearly 17 percent of the Republicans strongly agreed and 37.5 percent somewhat agreed that Ryan would galvanize New Jersey Democrats.
Nearly all Democratic respondents either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed with the statement, "Now that Ryan is on the ticket, New Jersey Democrats can win by running against Ryan's existing budget plans and particularly his proposal for Medicare." However, nearly 40 percent of Republicans strongly disagreed with the statement.
"The Democratic Party needs to go after both Romney and Ryan for what they are, killers of Social Security and Medicare, they both believe Americans should 'work until they die,'" one Democratic respondent said.
More than 85 percent of Democratic respondents either strongly agreed or somewhat agreed that Romney's "decision to choose Paul Ryan as his VP candidate will help the Obama-Biden campaign win the votes of senior citizens in New Jersey."
One Democrat said Ryan's selection "presents voters in NJ with the starkest contrast between governing philosophies that they have faced in many years. Ryan makes Ronald Reagan look like a liberal."
What other Democratic respondents are saying about Ryan:
"Romney loses many independent voters due to the already conservative nature of Romney's campaign. It's now even more conservative."
"It will get Tea Party Conservatives, who have been cool to Romney so far, strongly behind him."
"The biggest advantage is they now have a candidate who has at least the reputation of being a fighter, a quality Romney lacks."
What Republican respondents are saying about Ryan:
"Ryan is a serious Congressman for serious times. His solutions are grounded in reality and with comprehensive detail. He is also a nice person who is able to congenially put forth challenging ideas. He is not a "caricature politician" full of sound bites, but rather real ideas and solutions. He is a Catholic and given Obama administrations attacks on religious freedom, this should be noted."
"Ryan is fiscally conservative, smart and energetic—Romney chose well."
"I have not yet discovered a positive for Romney's decision."
"As New Jerseyians already know, it all about the high taxes and no job. Ryan knows that government spending at all level must get under control! He is dedicated to solving the problem and will get the taxes under control, the economy going and jobs rolling again in the USA."
Earlier this summer, Patch invited Democratic and Republican state leaders to participate in regular surveys about their thoughts on national and statewide issues. These leaders include state Senators, mayors, town council members and local party chairs. To become an insider, email Mike Pignataro at firstname.lastname@example.org