The GOP case for why they can win Wisconsin for the first time since 1984 rests in no small part on both. They think the effort to dislodge Walker from office a year and a half into his term has sparked a backlash and created an organization that will carry over into the presidential race. And they believe that the presence of the popular 42-year-old Wisconsinite on the Republican ticket will lift Romney in some of the state’s Democratic-leaning precincts.

But what makes Republicans uneasy about their prospects next month can also be traced back to the recall and the Ryan pick…

“If you’re not involved or engaged enough to come out for the Walker recall,” freshman Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said a bit incredulously, adding, “I’m a little concerned about the half-million voters. That is the only reason this thing would be close.”

A GOP member of the state Assembly, Robin Vos, was blunter.

“That is my biggest concern,” Vos said of the falloff between the presidential campaign and recall. “It’s the most important election in our life, and you didn’t vote?”…

Quipped Maslin: “The only possible way to change a 14-point margin [from 2008] is if they got a 20-point movement out there and to quote Dana Carvey doing George Bush, ‘It’s not gonna happen.’”