Overall, the picture is more mixed, with 37 percent of respondents using clearly positive terms, 35 percent using clearly negative terms, and 28 percent using neutral terms. That puts the Pew survey in line with recent polling by conservative group Resurgent Republic, which found 39 percent of the public view Ryan favorably versus 35 percent unfavorably.
Wednesday is Ryan's opportunity to begin moving that needle in a positive direction. Senator Wicker says Ryan will show America that “he’s got a spine.”
But Democrats see Ryan's advocacy for changes to entitlement programs as his undoing.
As the chairman of the House Budget Committee, Ryan wrote budgets that would end the current Medicare program for those under the age of 55 and replace it with a premium-support system that would give seniors money each month to pay their medical expenses. Democrats call this a voucher system, and blocked it in the Senate.
What do voters think about the plan? The best case polling scenario is a dead tie, according to GOP pollsters Resurgent Republic.
The worst? Well, a lot worse.