Poll: GOP Budget guru would lag if he runs for Senate

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is often talked about as a possible Senate 2012 candidate. A new poll by Democrat-leaning Public Policy Polling shows Ryan would lag behind incumbent Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) if he runs, although he is the strongest Republican in the state.

Ryan would lag behind Kohl by a margin of 49 percent to 42 percent. He also trails former senator Russ Feingold by the same margin.

The next Republican in the survey, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen trails Kohl by a margin of 52 percent to 37 percent.

Ryan's popularity is now 36 favorable compared to 35 percent unfavorable, a drop since he delivered the State of the Union response. Before the speech, Ryan had a rating of 38 percent favorable to 30 percent unfavorable.

The poll surveyed 768 Wisconsin voters from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27. The survey’s margin of error is plus-or-minus 3.5.