WPA's Weekly Political Brief

As part of our continuing effort to keep our clients and friends up-to-date on the political environment as we head toward Election Day,2012, every Friday WPA compiles the key numbers from the week and provides analysis of key trends.

In addition to the key political numbers, this week’s analysis includes:

  • A look Paul Ryan’s image boost after he became the Republican VP nominee.
  • The Presidential ballot in Wisconsin before and after Paul Ryan is announced as VP nominee.
  • Older American’s views on the Ryan budget plan and the Obama budget plan.
  • The Republican advantage in voter engagement.
  • Registration rates in swing states.
  • The Presidential ballot in swing states.


  • Romney’s choice of Paul Ryan as his running mate this week generated excitement among Republicans     (pg. 4).
    • Ryan’s favorability among Republicans and Independents increased by double digits (14% and 20%) after the announcement.
  • By adding Paul Ryan to the ticket, the presidential ballot in Wisconsin shifted 4% in Romney’s favor (pg. 5).
    • In a state that Obama won by 14% in 2008, Romney now leads by 1%.
  • Older Americans believe that Paul Ryan’s plan is the best to deal with America’s rapidly expanding federal budget deficit (pg. 9).
    • This is in contrast with conventional wisdom that older Americans are weary of Ryan’s budget plan.
  • Republicans have a 13% advantage among those voters who say they have given “quite a lot” of thought about the election (pg. 11).
    • This gap is higher than in recent presidential years and suggests that Republicans will have a higher turnout rate than Democrats in November.
    • Americans giving “quite a lot” of thought to the election decreased 6% from 2008.
  • Democratic registration rates fell in 7 of the 8 swing state that Obama won in 2008 (pg. 12).
    • This is troubling for Obama because it suggests that Democrats will have a lower turnout in crucial swing states in 2012.
  • Romney leads Obama in 3 of the 4 key swing states (pg. 16).
    • Maintaining these ballot advantages will be critical to Romney’s victory in November.