Why Wisconsin Will Matter In November
As I look at the electoral map, I'm starting to think that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have a decent chance to be elected in November.
Provided, that is, they can carry Wisconsin and a handful of other extremely important States.
Don't get me wrong. It's extremely difficult to defeat a sitting President. In fact, it's only happened three times in my lifetime. The first time was Gerald Ford (who wasn't elected in his own right) by Jimmy Carter in 1976. The second time was Jimmy Carter (arguably one of the worst Presidents in American history) by Ronald Reagan in 1980. The third time was in 1992 when Bill Clinton beat George Bush (largely because of the third-party candidacy of Ross Perot).
Historically, Americans are reluctant to bail on their President - and that bodes well for Obama. Still, people vote based on their pocketbooks - and the economy is lousy. Couple the poor economy with the growing enthusiasm gap between recently energized Republican base and disillusioned Democrats and it's certainly possible to see how Obama becomes a one and done President.
So how do Romney/Ryan win?
Here are the four States to watch on election night. Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
According to RealClearPolitics, Obama is currently leading in States with 221 electoral votes while Romney leads in States with 191. You need 270 votes to be elected President.
If Romney can carry Florida (29 electoral votes), Ohio (18 electoral votes), North Carolina (15 electoral votes) and Wisconsin (10 electoral votes), that gets him to 263 electoral votes. This means if Romney carries either Virginia (13 votes) or Colorado (9 electoral votes), he wins. Under this scenario, Romney could lose both Virginia and Colorado and still be elected by carrying two of the following three States: Iowa (6 votes), Nevada (6 votes) and New Hampshire (4 votes).
The point is that a Romney win - while definitely not a lock - is eminently doable. Currently, Romney leads in North Carolina while most of the other States remain true toss-ups!
You can take nothing for granted in politics. Still, I would guess that the Romney/Ryan campaign will be spending a disproportionate amount of time in these handful of States - including Wisconsin.
It's true that a Republican Presidential candidate hasn't carried Wisconsin since 1984. Still, with the recent successes of Scott Walker, Ron Johnson, Reid Ribble, Sean Duffy, J.B. Van Hollen (to name a few) plus the presence of Paul Ryan on the national ticket and Tommy Thompson as the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, it's not hard to see how this could be the year that Wisconsin goes completely Republican.
And that would bode extremely well for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan.