Pollster John Zogby, who used to conduct Florida surveys for the Miami Herald, reported a nationwide poll showing the Romney ticket got a Ryan bump of seven points buoyed largely by a surprising increase of Republican-ticket support among 18-29 year old voters.
Zogby said the numbers are sure to change. And other polls indicated Ryan wasnt much help.
Zogby said the Ryan proposal might prove more unpopular than Obamacare, which contained highly popular provisions giving seniors more prescription drug benefits, covering more people and forcing companies to insure people with pre-existing conditions.
Democrats thought that would be a winner at the polls. It wasnt in 2010.
Republicans framed Obamacare as Medicare-cutting government intrusion that also mandate people buy health insurance -- a proposal ironically based on Romneys Massachusetts health plan. A few falsely said the plan called for death panels.
The irony for Obama is that hes one of the best story tellers that weve seen in the presidency and he happens to be particularly inept in telling the story of Obamacare, Zogby said. Its not that he lost control of the dialogue. He never had it.
Obama played politics with Medicare as well, in 2008, when he bashed rival John McCain in an ad that accused the Republican of wanting to gut the program. The independent website FactCheck.org called the ad false; McCain didnt want to cut benefits just slow the programs growth rate and attack fraud.
Obama adopted those very principles a year later in Obamacare, using McCains defenses about not cutting benefits.
The Obamacare reductions target hospital reimbursement rates, require an independent board to propose cost savings that dont ration care and scale back payments to private insurers in Medicare Advantage that wound up costing taxpayers more for each beneficiary compared to traditional Medicare.
Its unclear how Romneys plan would make Medicare more solvent because he wants to reverse the Obamacare cuts that helped extend the life of the program.
Medicare spending for 2012 is scheduled to weigh in at $586.1 billion, a 7 percent jump thats higher than the five-year annual average increase of 6.2 percent, according to data from the annual report of the trustees overseeing Medicares trust funds.
The board cast a jaundiced eye on how real some of the savings would be because they would take unprecedented improvements in the health system. Also, the boards report suggests that some of the cuts could eventually hurt the availability and quality of health care . over time for Medicare recipients.
That would be a real cut. And right now the measures are considered a savings.
Former Rep. Ron Klein, who lost his Palm Beach County-based congressional seat in 2010 amid the Obamacare debate, said he believed this election would be different with the sole focus on Medicaid. He certainly hoped there wouldnt be a repeat in 2012.
The Republicans did a much better job being on the attack, Klein said. The points of our side got lost in the translation.