Put simply, Biden and Ryan offer help in appealing to the white working-class voters who will prove crucial in swing states like Biden’s native Pennsylvania, Ryan’s native Wisconsin, and other perennial battlegrounds like Ohio and Michigan.

“When you put the two men side by side, the fact that they are white, Catholic, working-class guys just jumps off the page immediately,” said Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine who has written extensively about class and cultural divisions in U.S. politics…

“Biden is a guy you would want to have a pint with even if he was not who he is, because he has never forgotten where he and his family came from,” said Democratic strategist Chris Lehane. “Ryan is a guy who, if you had a pint with him, would insist on splitting the tab down to the penny.”