'Ryan Effect' Doesn't Tip Wisconsin Red, But Race Tightens

A Marquette University Law School poll shows that more Wisconsin voters support President Barack Obama than his opponent Mitt Romney. But the race is definitely tightening.

President Barack Obama is up by 3 percentage points over Mitt Romney in the presidential race in Wisconsin, according to a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday.

However, the race is tightening and polling officials warned candidates not to take Wisconsin for granted.

This is the first Marquette University Law School poll in Wisconsin since Mitt Romney tapped U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan to be his running mate, and the poll shows that the GOP candidate didn't get enough of a bump to swing Wisconsin from blue to red after the announcement.

“The two-point shift in Romney’s direction is within the margin of error for the poll, but suggest Ryan’s addition to the ticket may have slightly increased Romney’s chances in Wisconsin,” said Professor Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette Law School Poll.

Wednesday's poll shows 49 percent of the likely voters surveyed backing Obama, while 46 percent favor Romney. However, a poll done prior to Ryan’s selection between Aug. 2 through Aug. 5, showed Obama led 50 to 45 percent.

“Romney has suffered from more unfavorable reviews throughout the year,” Franklin said. “That was wider throughout the primaries and has narrowed after he clinched the nomination. But he hasn’t turned that around yet.

“One of the challenges to his ticket is, can they use the convention to turn that around and re-introduce him to the public and can he explain to the public why they should view him more favorably than they have?” Franklin said.

The "Ryan Effect" bumped Romney’s numbers slightly higher, Franklin said.

When pollsters asked likely Republican voters if having Ryan as the VP had an influence on their decision to vote for Romney, 29 percent said more likely while 16 percent said less likely. However, 53 percent said having Ryan as vice president on the presidential ticket wouldn’t have much of an effect on their decision.

Nicole Tieman, Wisconsin communications director for the Republican National Committee, said the poll numbers were very encouraging.

“We’ve been putting a lot of work into Wisconsin and this demonstrates how the Romney campaign believes Wisconsin is a top tier swing state. We’ve put every effort into their campaign to offer real solutions, not excuses,” Tieman said. “Even before the Ryan announcement we were seeing Romney closing the gap and now we’re getting dangerously close to Obama.”

In the U.S. Senate race, the latest poll shows former Republican Governor Tommy Thompson still has the advantage over Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin.

"Todays poll results represent voters trust in Tommy to solve today’s pressing economic crises and their understanding of the failed economic policies that Tammy Baldwin has spent the last four years advocating," Brian Nemoir, a spokesman for Tommy Thompson's campaign.

Thompson is up by nine points against Baldwin. In the previous poll, Thompson led by five points.

“Baldwin isn’t widely known across the state,” Franklin said. “The appeal outside Baldwin’s home area is an area where development still has to take place.”

Baldwin's communications director John Kraus acknowledged that Baldwin is very aware that she needs more recognition in the state and she has been campaigning in Milwaukee, Appleton, Wausau, Eau Claire, Chippewa Falls, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Oshkosh, Manitowoc, De Pere, and La Crosse.

“Tommy Thompson will put those at the very top and the powerful special interests he has worked for in Washington ahead of Wisconsin," Baldwin said. "That is why he has shown a sense of entitlement to keep secrets and hide his tax returns from the people of Wisconsin.  Thompson would actually cut taxes for millionaires like himself and increase taxes on the middle class, increase out-of-pocket health care costs for seniors, increase the cost of higher education for students, and end Medicare as we know it for future generations." 

The results of the poll were released Wednesday during a segment of the on-going "On the Issues" series with Mike Gousha and Franklin. Polling of 706 registered voters took place between Aug. 16 through Aug. 19, and the poll results include responses from 576 likely voters in the pool with a 4.2 percent margin of error. 

Only 4 percent of those surveyed said they are undecided.

The Public Policy Forum also came out with a poll today on the U.S. Senate race between Thompson and Baldwin. Their poll has Thompson leading Baldwin 49 to 44 percent. In their prior poll in July, the two were at a dead heat at 45 to 45. They also noted that state Republicans are now backing him more than ever with an 89 point lead 93-4. In their previous poll, Thompson had a 77 point lead at 84-7.

Jason Junck August 23, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Here is the pertinent, absurd information from this story. Feel free to do some research on your own so I don't have to keep correcting you. "Mr. Romney has been especially critical of the cuts for insurance companies that provide Medicare Advantage, a popular private-policy alternative to Medicare. “This is the president’s plan: $716 billion cut, four million people losing Medicare Advantage and 15 percent of hospitals and nursing homes not accepting Medicare patients,” he said in a recent campaign appearance. But Medicare Advantage, which was created 15 years ago in the hope that private-market competition for beneficiaries would result in lower prices, has consistently cost more than standard Medicare — costs that Medicare beneficiaries must help subsidize through their premiums. The reductions for Medicare Advantage providers are “a matter of basic fairness because they’ve been overpaid for years,” Ms. Moon said. As for beneficiaries, she added, “they’re guaranteed basic Medicare benefits. They may lose some extra benefits they may have been getting, but in effect you’re saying some of the windfall benefits may go away.” “The bottom line,” said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the House Budget Committee, which Ryan leads, “is that Romney is proposing to take more money from seniors in higher premiums and co-pays and hand it over to private insurance companies and other providers in the Medicare system.”
Bren August 23, 2012 at 11:17 PM
The "Jobs Creators" myth, with 20 years statistical evidence that shows that trickle-down economics doesn't work. Reaganomics: Fail. Bush 41: Fail. Bush 43: Fail. Look it up.
Keith Schmitz August 24, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Try harder please.
Keith Schmitz August 24, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Hey towering intellectual cynic. Did the cost of the wars, the cost of Medicare Part D and the tax cuts for the wealthy suddenly evaporate when Barack raised his hand.
Joe Resident August 24, 2012 at 02:34 AM
Romney Beats OBummer in a landslide! Tammy Bald One is defeated decisively by Tommy!


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