How a Paul Ryan Wisconsin effect could alter the U.S. political map
There are signs, however, that I may have underestimated Ryan’s appeal in Wisconsin. Public Policy Polling polled a hypothetical Romney-Ryan ticket last month and showed it trailing Obama-Biden by only 1 percentage point (as opposed to a 6 point Romney without Ryan deficit). A new Rasmussen poll has Romney picking up 4 points and jumping to a 1-point lead in Badger State among likely voters. A new CNN/ORC poll among registered voters has Obama up by 4 percentage points, a margin that could be predicted to shrink among likely voters.
The importance of a competitive Wisconsin for Romney-Ryan cannot be underestimated. If Obama wins Wisconsin, then my calculations indicate that he probably starts off with a minimum of 247 of the necessary 270 electoral votes. He could win simply by taking Florida and its 29 electoral votes or through some combination of Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, or Virginia.
Without Wisconsin, Obama has 237 electoral votes. That may not seem like a big difference from 247, but consider the following four scenarios.