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Thursday, April 14, 2016

What America Thinks: Ryan’s Not the Guy

For some Republicans and some in the media, House Speaker Paul Ryan is the ghost candidate who can save the GOP from itself, rescuing the party from Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. But Ryan made it clear at a press conference earlier this week that he has no intention of running for president.

Right now, our numbers suggest that’s a good idea. In hypothetical matchups, Ryan loses 40% to 34% to Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton and trails by a similar 41% to 34% margin to Senator Bernie Sanders. In both cases, he earns the support of less than 60% of his fellow Republicans.

But then 51% of GOP voters think the party’s presidential nominee should be the candidate who arrives at the Republican national convention with the most delegates. Right now that’s Trump or Cruz, and Ryan risks alienating a lot of their supporters if party leaders maneuver behind the scenes to make him the nominee instead.

You can be sure Ryan recognizes this risk and isn’t willing to put his political future in danger to be the Republican presidential candidate in a most unusual election year.