The countdown is on to Election Day, so let’s start going swing state by swing state on our way to November 6. Let’s begin with a state that has been under the radar – Wisconsin.
It’s difficult to tell that ten Electoral Votes in Wisconsin could be pivotal on election night, as President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney have hardly been to the Badger State; yet the polls still show the race is close, with about a 2.7% edge for President Obama in the poll averages.
“If Romney doesn’t win Ohio, he really has to win Wisconsin,” said Henry Olsen of the American Enterprise Institute, going over what has become a rather narrow route to victory for Romney, which most likely must include victories in Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.
Early on Friday morning, the Romney campaign announced that their candidate would go to the Badger State for the first time since August, setting a rally in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for next Monday night; the Obama campaign followed a few hours later by announcing the President will stump in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
For now, the polls give an edge to the President, even with Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan in this race, as the GOP tries to win the Badger State for the time since 1984.
“He’s closer in Ohio than he is in Wisconsin, even with Ryan on the ticket,” Olsen added.
Vice President Biden will make two stops in Wisconsin on Friday, but that’s been about it for the Badger State in recent weeks.
This is Biden’s fifth visit this year, as the Vice President will speak at two different college campuses in Oshkosh and Kenosha.
The last time that Mitt Romney was in Wisconsin was in late August, when he held a rally with his new VP choice Ryan; instead of big time rallies at the American Serb Memorial Hall in Milwaukee and other classic venues, the Badger State campaign has mainly been by commercials and the local work of both parties.
The story isn’t much different for President Obama – he has been to the Badger State only twice in the last few months; he drew about 30,000 to a large rally at the University of Wisconsin on his last trip.
Back in August when Gov. Scott Walker and Republicans fought off a recall challenge, many thought the state would be competitive in November – it is – but the candidates have been focused instead on Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado and Nevada.
While the candidates haven’t shown up in Wisconsin, their money has, as both sides have flooded the state with ads; Green Bay was the hottest market in the nation earlier this month, and Madison has been in the top five as well.
So, while Romney will focus this weekend on Florida and Virginia, Monday he will show up in Wisconsin. Will that draw a competing visit by the President in the final days of this race?
Both sides say they have the advantage in the Badger State; we’ll find out soon enough.