Poll: Ryan boosts Romney to tie with Obama

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Columnists

Picking Rep. Paul Ryan as his GOP running mate is working for presidential candidate Mitt Romney. According to a new JZ Analytics poll conducted after Ryan was picked on Saturday and provided to Secrets, the race is now dead even, 46 percent to 46 percent. Only 8 percent of likely voters are undecided.

"Hot on the heels of Mitt Romney's vice presidential choice of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, the race between Obama and Romney seems to be tightening. There is little doubt that Romney's choice of Ryan has excited the Republican base, 88 percent of whom now support the new ticket," said the poll. JZ Analytics, founded by Jonathan Zogby, is the heir to the Zogby poll founded by his father, John Zogby.

The poll is the first to test the impact of Ryan and it shows a significant shift in the election in Romney's direction. Up until the Ryan pick, for example, polls have been showing momentum and the lead in Obama's favor.

According to Zogby the Ryan pick helped Romney with younger voters and independents, two key battleground constituencies. "Romney saw a bump in support among 18-29 year olds with 41 percent saying they would vote for the ticket of Romney and Ryan," said Zogby. "More importantly, Romney and Ryan led Obama and Biden among independent voters 45 percent to 40 percent."

Added the pollsters: "If numbers like this hold, this could spell real trouble for the president who won with 66 percent of 18-29 year olds in 2008."

But it's not all roses. The poll found that Obama continues to keep his 30 percent hold on evangelical Christians which Romney needs to win big to offset Obama's control of minorities.