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Lewyn Addresses America

A little politics, a little urbanism- I also blog 100 percent on urbanism at and

Back in August, I went on and on about how Ryan wouldn’t swing Wisconsin to the Republican ticket, for the simple reason that Vice Presidential candidates generally don’t affect too many votes.

So here are some numbers:

2008 McCain/Palin nationally 45.6

Wisconsin 42.3 (3.3 pts worse)

2012 Romney/Ryan nationally 47.9

Wisconsin 46.0 (1.9 pts worse)

So controlling for the national improvement in Republican fortunes, the Republican ticket did 1.4 points better in Wisconsin than in 2008- pretty consistent with my general view that a Vice-Presidential candidate only adds a point or two. (Though I have to admit, I’m surprised Ryan added* this much, given that he does not hold statewide office).

At this point you might be asking yourself: would Portman or Rubio have swung their home states?

The Romney-Ryan ticket got 48.3 percent in Ohio, so if you assume Portman adds the same number of votes in Ohio, the ticket goes up to 49.7, and Obama goes down to 48.9.  So yes, Portman delivers Ohio.

And if you assume the Romney-Rubio ticket adds 1.4 percent to the Florida Republican vote, Romney goes from 49.1% to 50.5%.  So yes, Rubio might have delivered Florida to Romney.

I wonder if Ryan will learn from Romney’s mistake (and yes, I do think Ryan will be the 2016 nominee- but that’s another blog post).

*Assuming that the added votes are in fact Ryan-related, which I realize is impossible to prove given the wide variety of possible factors that might be relevant.


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