Pew: Americans View Paul Ryan As ‘Conservative,’ ‘Unknown’

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan will take the stage tonight at the Republican National Convention and appear before an American audience that views him as “conservative,” “intelligent,” and “unknown,” a new study released Wednesday from Pew Research Center shows.

Conducted August 23-26, Pew’s study asked respondents ascribe one word that “best describes” their impression Ryan.  The two leading responses likely serve as a reflection of Ryan’s status as a star on the right and his reputation as a budgetary expert: 26 respondents describe him as “conservative,” and 25 call Ryan “intelligent.”

Twenty-three apply the broad description of “good” to the House Budget Committee Chairman, but 22 also characterize Ryan as “unknown” — underscoring the pressure he faces tonight when he introduces himself to much of the public for the first time.


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at