It’s a bit of political inside baseball, but I love looking at how different states affect the electoral calculus for Mitt Romney in November. One big effect of Paul Ryan appears to be a renewed emphasis on fighting for Wisconsin. As Harry Enten argues in the Guardian, putting Wisconsin in play creates a whole bunch of new possible victory scenarios for Mitt. Here’s just one example:
1. Romney-Ryan wins without Ohio
No Republican ticket has ever taken the White House without Ohio, but it’s conceivable. All the states awarded to Romney-Ryan here are ones where he is in as good a position or better than he is in Ohio. Without Wisconsin, Romney would only have 263 electoral votes. With it, Romney takes 273 – and the White House.
Being from Ohio, the idea that the Buckeye State could become irrelevent to the national election (or at least not deliver the victor) seems far-fetched, but with Wisconsin in play, it is true. Enten also outlines a number of scenarios where Mitt wins with Ohio but loses a number of other states (for instance, Mitt can win WI, OH and NH but lose CO and VA). Basically, Wisconsin gives Mitt options he has sorely needed, and expands the battlefield. Now we’re playing some offense.