August 13, 2012 No, Ryan Doesn’t Swing Wisconsin
Lots of blog posts about how Ryan puts Wisconsin in play.
My response: the notion that a Vice Presidential candidate could EVER turn a solid blue/red state into a swing state is just plain silly. See, e.g. Kerry-Edwards 2004 (lost VP home state of NC), Dole-Kemp 1996 (lost VP home state of NY), Dukakis-Bentsen 1988 (lost VP home state of Texas), Mondale-Ferraro 1984 (lost VP home state of NY).
Even in 2008 when the VP candidate (Palin) was a governor with an 80 percent approval rating, the McCain-Palin ticket STILL ran behind Bush ’04 showing in Alaska.
By contrast, Ryan isn’t even a statewide officeholder which means outside his home district he’s not super-well-known in Wisconsin. So I don’t think that Ryan will swing any votes in Wisconsin outside his extended family (at least not any votes related to his Wisconsin residence).
I do think its possible that Ryan could help the ticket nationally if (a BIG IF) he does well in the VP debate. But the notion of a Wisconsin-specific benefit strikes me as incredibly unlikely.
In 2008, Obama ran about 3.4 pts ahead of its national showing in Wisconsin(See here for 2008 results). That tells me that the only way Romney wins Wisconsin is if he doesn’t need it (i.e. a 300-electoral-vote plus Republican victory).