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Paul Ryan paradox: Voters like him, just not his ideas (+video)

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Ryan is seen in a favorable light by a plurality of Americans, according to a national survey released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post. When asked to describe Ryan, the top responses trended positive, with "good" and "intelligent" among the top three answers. The other answers in the top five – "conservative," "young," and "unknown" – were seen as neutral. 

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. 

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