In a USA Today/Gallup poll out today Paul Ryan is considered by 42 percent of Americans only a "fair" or "poor" choice for Mitt Romney's vice president— a higher number than that of registered voters who put Dick Cheney and Sarah Palin in the same categories upon learning of their selection.
According to the poll, 42 percent of Americans rate Romney's pick as "fair" or "poor." On the other hand, 39 percent think it's "excellent" or "good." Only 37 of registered voters percent rated the Palin selection as "fair" or "poor" in an August 2008 poll, and 34 percent thought the Cheney selection was the same in one from July 2000. It's also worth noting that voters in 2008 didn't think much more highly of Obama's selection if Joe Biden: 33 percent thought he was a "fair" or "poor" choice.
Even more bad news for Ryan, according to USA Today: "Only Dan Quayle in a 1988 Harris Poll of likely voters was viewed less positively than Ryan, with 52% rating Quayle as a 'fair' or 'poor' vice presidential choice."
So what does this mean for the campaign? Well, opinions are obviously very preliminary. In a USA Today story a Romney pollster tried to pass off the unfavorable figures as simply indication that voters did not know Ryan that well. As The Washington Post's Aaron Blake noted, "the same could be said of Palin."
The poll was conducted on Sunday and surveyed 1,006 adults with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points.