I was perusing the news for today’s briefing and I came across this article on DKos:
Even before Mitt Romney named Paul Ryan to the ticket, our Battleground polling results indicated an erosion of support for Republicans, largely based on Paul Ryan’s plans for Medicare and entitlements. The advantage Republicans held among seniors in 2010 has been completely decimated. Across these Republican districts, incumbents now hold just a two-point lead with voters over age 64—a group Republicans won by 18 points in 2010.
Not surprisingly, the leading factor in this shift away from the GOP is Paul Ryan’s war on Medicare. By a decisive six-point margin, voters in these districts now say they trust Democrats more than Republicans when it comes to Medicare. Among voters in the 27 most competitive Republican battleground seats, Democrats now hold an 11-point advantage on Medicare.
The GOP’s best hope to weather their votes for the Ryan budget was to make sure that Paul Ryan remained an obscure personality. Democrats could scream all they wanted about Politician X’s “vote for the Ryan budget,” but if the response was “Ryan who?”, they’d be in the clear.
Mitt Romney destroyed that hope. Everyone knows, or will soon know, who Paul Ryan is. That’s why Republicans panicked at first hearing the news about Ryan, and why they continue to have reason to panic today.
And Politico reported over a week ago that the GOP is warning House candidates to speak softly on Medicare:
The internal email, obtained by POLITICO, was a clear and immediate sign that Republicans knew Ryan could create trouble down ballot for GOP candidates in tight congressional races.
But apparently Dan Benishek up in CD01 did not get that same email:
The freshman congressman representing the Upper and the northern Lower Peninsula is the only elected official from Michigan who is scheduled for the national stage. Benishek is up for re-election this year in a tough race in the 1st Congressional District. Netting a speaking slot helps raise his profile and highlight northern Michigan.
Benishek faces a tough rematch in November with former state Rep. Gary McDowell, D-Rudyard, whom Benishek defeated in 2010.
The 1st Congressional District is targeted by Democrats to flip, with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee launching automated phone calls against Benishek. The calls criticize Benishek for supporting a budget plan championed by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the GOP vice presidential choice, that would offer Medicare to future seniors as a voucher-like program.
So in a tight race up north, Benishek is tying himself to RMoney-Ryan, and the Democrats are happy to help:
Benishek is running against former State Rep Gary McDowell. Gary’s on the web at http://mcdowellforcongress.com/