DECISION 2012: Why is Wisconsin so important in 2012 election

By: Olga Michail Email
By: Olga Michail Email

MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) -- An Associate Professor at UW-Stout says now, for the first time in years, experts consider Wisconsin a battleground state. Many states have long histories of voting democrat or republican, Wisconsin does too, but the state could be up for grabs on Tuesday.

"There are so many opportunities in this country, so we’ve got to start working together,” said Vice President Joe Biden.

"We are four days away from the first day of a new beginning," said Presidential Candidate Gov. Mitt Romney.

"Closing days of the election the focus of the campaign changes from the airway, the television commercials and the radio spots, to ground war," said Associate Professor of History and Government, Alec Kirby.

Wisconsin has been voting democrat since the 1984 presidential election. It carried Obama in 2008.But this year's race might change everything.

"In Wisconsin it is very important for all people vote, because in Wisconsin as a swing state, literally, all votes will count," said Kirby.

And there are a few reasons for Wisconsin's status change.
First of all, the election is considered too close to call in Wisconsin.
That makes voters here a desirable audience for both democrats and republicans. The 10 electoral votes that Wisconsin has to offer to the winner are also thought to be important.

"If one candidate wins a popular vote, by even 1 vote on Election Day they win all of our 10 electoral votes, that can be a decisive factor in this election,” said Kirby.

Another reason Wisconsin could shift back and forth between the political parties, is Wisconsin-native Congressman Paul Ryan's standing as a vice presidential candidate.

"Prior to selection of Paul Ryan I am not sure you could have called Wisconsin a swing state, now very much so. At the end congressman Ryan is our son, our hometown boy, and that seems to matter a lot to voters," said Kirby.

Wisconsin is considered 1-of-5 battleground states that the campaigns appear to be hitting hard this election season. Vice president Joe Biden and Mitt Romney visited Wisconsin earlier today. President Obama plans to visit Milwaukee tomorrow and Madison on Monday.

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