Romney/Ryan Close The Gap In Wisconsin

Another poll seems to indicate that Wisconsin has indeed become more competitive since Paul Ryan was added to the Republican ticket:

PPP’s first Wisconsin poll since Mitt Romney announced Paul Ryan as his running mate finds him taking a small lead over Barack Obama in the state, 48-47. That represents a 7 point shift from PPP’s last look at the state in early July, which found Obama ahead 50-44.

The biggest change Ryan’s selection seems to have brought about is the unification of the GOP. Romney’s gone from a 78 point lead with Republicans on our last poll (87-9) to now an 88 point lead with them (93-5). There’s also been a tightening with independents. Obama still has a 4 point lead with them at 47-43, but that’s down from a 14 point advantage at 53-39 six weeks ago. Democrats are unchanged from the previous poll.

Ryan isn’t exactly a universally popular figure in his home state. 49% of voters have a favorable opinion of him to 45% with a negative one. But that does give him the best numbers of anybody on either ticket in the state. Obama has a 46% approval rating with 50% of voters disapproving of him, Romney has a 45/48 favorability rating, and Joe Biden stands at 41/48.

A big reason Wisconsin remains so competitive for the GOP is that the electorate looks like it will be considerably more Republican leaning than it was in 2008, reflecting the continued high energy level of the party’s voters after its victory in June’s recall election. We find an electorate that’s 34% Republican and 32% Democratic. Exit polls in 2008 showed Democrats with a 6 point turnout advantage, 39% to 33%. Although the enthusiasm gap that plagued Democrats nationally in 2010 has dissipated some places, it appears to still be a real issue for them in Wisconsin.

This is the same margin that the Rasmussen poll that I wrote about last week showed, and it still leaves Obama with a +2.6 lead in the RealClearPolitics poll average.However, Romney is closing in:

Right now, neither side appears to be spending much money in the state, but that’s likely to change soon, and if Wisconsin is still competitive in October then this could be a very interesting election.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. al-Ameda says:

    I honestly believe that Wisconsin is now a Red State. They dumped Russ Feingold, elected a union-busting governor, and one their own is on the GOP ticket. Democrats are going to have to work hard to reclaim Wisconsin.

    I think it’s Ryan-Romney’s state to lose

  2. Dave says:

    It doesn’t hurt that they are trying to reinstate the voter ID before the election despite a court ordered hold. Also their attempts to prevent students from voting with their residency standards is deplorable. Not many students are going to want to drive home to their parents’ homes on a Tuesday during the school year.

  3. Jeremy says:

    @Dave: Yeah the student residency think is pretting f*ing stupid. If you reside at college for most of the year, you’re a resident. States need to get over that.

  4. PJ says:


    Also their attempts to prevent students from voting with their residency standards is deplorable.

    If students want the right to do that, then they need to start voting for the Republicans.

  5. PJ says:

    The changes in both the PPP polls and the Rasmussen polls are within the margin of error.
    June 12, 2012, Rasmussen had Romney 47, Obama 44 (ME +/- 4.5%), Romney +3
    July 25, 2012, Rasmussen had Romney 46, Obama 49 (ME +/- 4.5%), Obama +3
    August 15, 2012, Rasmussen had Romney 48, Obama 47 (ME +/- 4.5%), Romney +1

    Just saying that the difference between two polls isn’t necessary a sign of a shift.

  6. Jay Dubbs says:

    I think Wisconsin is the one place where you could legitimately see a Ryan bump. The question is whether it lasts. I think Obama will still have the edge after the conventions finish.

    And frankly, Wisconsin isn’t that important. Whoever wins VA and OH will win the election, and Obama may just need to win one.

  7. Jay Dubbs says:

    Plus most recent Marquette Law School poll found it 49/46 Obama. Only +2 to Romney following Ryan announcement.

    Both changes are within MOE for the polls, so could be statistical noise.