A few weeks ago, I noted that all the most likely Democratic paths to 270 electoral votes assumed that Barack Obama would win Wisconsin’s 10 electoral votes. With Paul Ryan and popular former Gov. Tommy Thompson both on the ballot (and don’t forget Gov. Scott Walker won a recent recall), it’s absolutely conceivable the state could swing Republican for the first time since 1984.
Apparently the Democrats are worried about this. This weekend, President Obama will travel to Milwaukee (it’s pronounced “mill-e-wah-que” which is Algonquin for “the good land”) – a clear sign he is worried about the state.
We often say that vice presidential picks don’t matter, but that is true until they do. There is a very real possibility that Mitt Romney could win a squeaker of an election by picking off Ryan’s home state. If that happens, the Ryan choice will be viewed as brilliant.
As the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza writes, the possibility that Romney could win the Badger state could show “an ability to expand the electoral map beyond the 2004 Bush victory that Romney has, to date, been unable to do. And that’s a positive storyline for a campaign desperately in need of one at the moment.”