Posted by Sean Sullivan, Washington Post
Paul Ryan (Wis.) is the Republican nominee for vice president. But beginning this week, voters in Wisconsinâ€™s 1st district will also see new TV advertisements from his House campaign. Ryanâ€™s congressional campaign manager hasÂ confirmed that Ryan will spend $2 million on ads in the Milwaukee and Madison media markets.
Ryanâ€™s new ads,Â ostensibly an effort to help hisÂ front-runningÂ House bid, could also boost the GOPÂ presidentialÂ ticketâ€™s efforts in Wisconsin. A Republican presidential nominee has not carried the state since 1984, but polling shows a competitive race there this cycle.
A Wisconsin law has allowedÂ Ryan to remain aÂ candidateÂ for his seat in Congress, even as he runs for viceÂ president (so the news that he is running for his House seat isnâ€™t on its own anything new).Â If Mitt Romney loses in November, but Ryan wins his congressional race, he can keep his seat. If Romney wins and the congressman leaves to join the newÂ administration, a special election would be held to replace him in the House if he is reelected there.
Ryan, who was first elected in the 1st district in 1998 and has never really faced a very serious reelection challenge, will begin airing adsÂ congressionalÂ campaign manager Kevin Seifert said will be the first in a series.
Seifert said the new ad â€œfocuses on the critical choice before voters this November and the importance of electing leaders who are capable of advancing solutions that get America back on track. This is the first in a series of ads that will be rolled out between now and November 6th by Ryan for Congress.â€ He confirmed that the Ryan will be spending $1.5 million in the Milwaukee market, then another $500,000 in the Madison market starting in late October.
Ryanâ€™s Democratic opponent in the 1stÂ districtÂ is businessman Rob Zerban, who is believed to be aÂ sizableÂ underdog. Ryan is well-known in his district and has a lot more money in his campaign account. According to campaignÂ financeÂ reports filed in late July, he had more than 10 times as much money as Zerban. And a Public Opinion Strategies poll conducted for Ryanâ€™s campaign on Sunday and Monday showed the incumbent leading Zerban, 58 percent to 33 percent.
While Ryan remains popular in his district, his easy reelection wins have defied the partisan tilt there at theÂ presidentialÂ level. President Obama narrowly won the district in 2008.
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