The addition of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to the Republican ticket has altered the political landscape in his home state — it’s now a toss-up after leaning toward Obama for the majority of the campaign, according to a new poll.
The Romney-Ryan ticket gets 48 percent support in a new poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, which started gathering data in the state six days after Ryan was named the vice-presidential nominee, to Obama-Biden’s 47 percent.
The numbers confirm an earlier PPP poll of the state, conducted in early July, which showed a close race if Romney were to choose Ryan. Obama led a solo challenge from Romney 50 percent to 44 percent, a similar margin to other polls of Wisconsin in the pre-Ryan campaign. Now Republicans have a 1-point lead, a statistical dead heat.
“Wisconsin really is starting to look like a toss up in the Presidential race,” said Dean Debnam, president of PPP, in a release. “The big question is whether this is just a bounce from Paul Ryan’s selection as running mate, or if the increased Republican competitiveness will prove to be lasting.”
While Ryan has provided the GOP ticket with the most direct bump, Romney’s own favorability rating went up as well, from a 41 percent favorable/50 percent unfavorable rating in the July poll to a 45 percent favorable/48 percent unfavorable rating in the latest poll. President Obama’s approval rating fell slightly from a 47 approval/48 disapproval rating in July to a 46 percent approval/50 percent disapproval in the current survey.
The Romney-Ryan ticket got a boost by shoring up the Republican base in Wisconsin and from bringing in more independent voters: 93 percent of Republicans polled support their ticket versus the 89 percent that supported it a month ago. Romney-Ryan also cut into Obama’s lead with independent votes, which went from 8 percent to 4 percent.
The numbers suggest Ryan is directly responsible for bump — in the previous July match-up between just Obama and Romney, the president led independent voters 53 percent to 39 percent. Ryan himself is seen favorably, 49 percent favorable to 45 percent unfavorable.
The PollTracker Average of Wisconsin tightens to a small 0.5 percent lead for President Obama, built on the strength of pre-Ryan polling.
PPP used 1,308 automated interviews with likely voters by landline (automated surveys cannot call cell phones) conducted from Aug. 16-19. It has a sampling error of 2.7 percent.
Kyle is the Editor of TPM Media’s PollTracker. He graduated from Beloit College (WI) and began working in politics before getting an M.A. in magazine journalism from New York University, where he interned at TPM and the website of The New Yorker.