With the weekend announcement of Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as the vice presidential choice for frontrunner and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney, Patch reached out for a quick survey of its 100 influential Republicans around the Twin Cities area.
Not surprisingly, Red Twin Cities was encouraged by the choice, despite the fact the Romney campaign chose not to go with Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty, another man many figured to be on the "short list" of nominees.
The majority of the Republicans who responded in our "snap survey" said the move to add Ryan would "galvanize" Republicans behind the Romney-Ryan ticket.
But the respondents weren't so sure about the Ryan choice as a "deal-maker" for undecided voters. Half of the Republicans only "somewhat agreed" with the idea that Ryan will be able to swing undecided voters to the Republican side.
As for Ryan's strengths, nearly all of our Republicans pointed to Ryan's fiscal conservative policies.
"Ryan is strong on instituting solid economic principles that will help rein in out of control spending and entitlements," one said.
"Ryan will do well in the debate with Joe Biden, and he is the polar oppposite of Sarah Palin in technical knowledge," said another.
The Republicans know Democrats will attack the so-called "Ryan Plan" for balancing the federal budget, which includes controversial cuts to education and Medicare.
However, 75 percent don't believe that road will lead to a Democratic victory.
"The choice of Paul Ryan puts deficits and entitlements front and center in the presidential campaign. Win or lose, that's a good thing," one influencer said.
The Red Twin Cities Survey
Our surveys are not a scientific, random sample of any larger population, but rather an effort to listen to a group of influential local Republican activists, party leaders, candidates and elected officials in Minnesota. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in Minnesota Patch’s surveys, although not all responded to this story’s questions. Surveys were conducted from June 27 to July 1, 2012.
Patch will be conducting Red Twin Cities and Blue Twin Cities surveys throughout the 2012 election season in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and progressives on the ground in Minnesota. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in periodic surveys that last just a few minutes, please contact Associate Regional Editor Mike Schoemer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Red Twin Cities Roster: Sara Anderson (candidate for State House), John Anderson (campaign chair, Palmer for House), David Arvidson (SD 46 candidate), Rep. Mike Beard (HD 35), Bryan Bjornson (Republican activist), Joe Blum (District 52A candidate), Mike Boguszewski (Congressional Dist. 4), Reed Bornholdt (Richfield GOP), Christopher Burns (Woodbury), Nick Caron (campaign mgr. Tuschy for House), Roger Champagne (SD 46 candidate), Matt Chase (treasurer Dist. 46), Steve Cherney, Janalee Cooper, David Cote (Honeywell CEO), Jennifer DeJournett (VOICES of Conservative Women founder), Rep. Bob Dettmer (39A), Don Dickerson (Roseville GOP), Bob Erickson (Lakeville School Board), Kelley Fenton (GOP deputy chair MN), Chris Fields, David FitzSimmons (HD 30B), Mark Fotsch (HD 66A), Hal Fotsch (Dist. 39 organizer), Sen. David Gaither, Stan Genadek, David Gerson (Candidate for Congress), Dennis Gilliespe (Richfield), Richard Glasgow (Washington Co. GOP), Sen. David Hahn, Tim Hall, Sen. Dan Hall, Garold Healy (Hopkins mayoral candidate), Mike Held (SD46 GOP), Dale Helm (candidate 41A), Rep. Mary Liz Holberg, Jeanne Holland (STMA Schools), Sue Holman McCarville (Hopkins GOP), Karin Housley (SD 39), Terry Jacobsen (House Dist. 49B), Arylahn Johnson (HD 49B), Mark Johnson (chair of SD 56), Reid Johnson (candidate for HD 45B), Mike Kaess (SD 51 chair), Emilie Kastner, Rep. Andrea Kieffer (HD 56), Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (SD 30 candidate), Former Sen. Amy Koch (former majority leader), Jon Koznick, Don Lee, Sen. Ted Lillie (Woodbury), Sen. Warren Limmer, Terry McCall, Rep. Joe McDonald (Delano), Mike McGinn, Mike McCllean, Cory Merrifeld (Save the Vikes.org), Gary Mertz (SD49 Communications), Former Sen. Geoff Michel, Dan Morehead (GOP activist), Andrew Mullin (Wayzata city council), Rep. Pam Myhra (Burnsville), Richard Novack (delegate), Kevin O’Donovan (Richfield GOP), Jon Olson (former campaign manager for Chris Fields), Laura Palmer (HD 41), Sarah Patzloff (Edina schools), Jeff Pauley, Rep. Joyce Peppin (Rogers/Maple Grove), Roz Peterson (Lakeville), Camden Pike (Party chair, SD41), Lt. Col. Alex Plechash (head of MN Org. of GOP Vets), Bill Pulkrabek (Washington Co. Commission), Dwight Rabuse (SD 52 candidate), Erik Radtke (staffer, Emmer for Gov.), John Rheinberger (Wash Co. GOP), former Sen. Claire Robling, Mitch Rossow (SD 61 secretary), Chuck Roulet (SD 32 co-chair), Bron Scherer (MN GOP treasurer), Donna Schmidt, Al Schneider (Kline for Congress), Paul Scofield (HD 46), Joe Slamon (SD 53 chair), Chris Soukup, Mark Stefan (HD44B challenger), Rep. Kirk Stensrud (H 48A), Brett Steven (SD 62 secretary), Tom Swain (former mayor of Lilydale), Sen. John Swanson, Lynn Swon, Sen Roy Terwilliger, Sen. Dave Thompson, Blair Tremere (Golden Valley ex-mayor), Paul Tuschy (HD 52B candidate), Shaji Varghese (HD 51A chair), Lynn Wardlow, Tiana Wells (national delegate), Aramis Wells (Ron Paul for Pres.), Mark Westphal (HD 39 chair), Tim Wilkin (former state rep.), former Rep. Kelby Woodard (Northfield), Mark Zasadny (national GOP delegate), Hannah Zasadny (local delegate), Dennis Holman (SD 45), Candace Oathout (District 45 GOP), Jeff Kolb (Fields for Congress) and Rep. Kurt Zellers, Speaker of the House.