But now, some of Romney’s key advisers are expressing skepticism about how the document — and it’s conservative ideology — will play in local races. In an interview with ThinkProgress, Mel Martinez — Romney’s top Hispanic Steering Committee adviser and a former senator — argued that many voters will reject Ryan’s economic policies:
SCOTT KEYES: Do you think [Ryan’s] budget will play a positive role in the campaign for Republicans? You’re former RNC chair, is that something you would recommend to, say Republican house candidates, to run on the Ryan budget and Medicare?
MARTINEZ: You know what, I think house races have their own chemistry. I would not attempt to nationalize a house race. I think you have to do that district by district, maybe in some places it makes sense to nationalize it, most places it probably doesn’t. I would say, it’s not really about the congressional races, I think it’s about the presidential when it comes to that.
Perhaps Martinez is right to dissuade Republicans from running on the Ryan budget. The last time a Republican campaigned on a promise to support and vote for the Ryan budget — a 2011 special election in New York — Republican Jane Corwin lost handily to Democrat Kathy Hochul in one of the most reliably conservative districts in the country despite outspending Hochul by a 2-1 margin. Since 1857, just three Republicans had ever lost congressional races in the district.