By Mark Blumenthal
Polls show that Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney's pick as vice presidential running mate, was still unknown to a majority of Americans as Romney announced his selection on Saturday. While Ryan's controversial budget plan has suffered in similar obscurity, polling also shows that it will be a potential weakness for Republicans because of a wider debate over its impact. It explains why Democrats are already leaping at the chance to make the Ryan budget a central focus of the fall campaign.
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A CNN/ORC International poll conducted just last week asked a national sample of Americans about "Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan." Twenty-seven percent rated him favorably and 19 percent unfavorably, but many said they had either never heard of Ryan (38 percent) or had no opinion of him (16 percent). Ryan's positive marks on the new poll were only slightly better than on polls conducted by CNN and other national news organizations a year ago.