Paul Ryan will still have a job, having defeated challenger Rob Zerban in his most competitive race since he first won election. What is getting very little attention in the mainstream media is that Ryan failed to carry his home communities of Janesville and Rock County. Zerban won his home County of Kenosha and Ryan’s home County, Rock. Not surprisingly, Ryan has the GOP-friendly redistricting and Waukesha County to thank.
Ryan – 199,715 – 55%
Zerban – 157,721 – 43%
Difference – 41,994
First, Ryan loses his home of Janesville and Rock County:
Paul Ryan (Rep) 46.39% 18,826 Rob Zerban (Dem) 51.50% 20,902
Zerban + 2076
Zerban wins his home Kenosha County:
Rob Zerban (DEM) 41101 52.27 Paul Ryan (REP) 36092 45.9
Zerban is competitive in Racine county:
PAUL RYAN – 50,106 – 48.21 %
ROB ZERBAN - 47,618 - 45.81 %
Racine and Rock basically cancel each other out, leaving Zerban with a 5,000 vote lead. Walworth County gives Ryan a slight lead:
PAUL RYAN REP 27,890 ROB ZERBAN DEM 16,546
Ryan + 11,344
After Rock, Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth County, Ryan is only ahead 6,747 votes out of 259,081 cast in those four counties, or 2.6%. Enter the GOP behemoth Waukesha County.
Paul Ryan - 36,843
Rob Zerban – 12,688
Ryan + 24,155
After Waukesha County, Ryan’s lead is increased to 30,902 out of 308,612 votes cast, or 10% – a huge increase, and insurmountable. Waukesha County accounts for nearly 50% of the margin of victory. Southern Milwaukee County adds almost the same pro-Ryan vote as Walworth County.
More Waukesha County for Ryan, larger margin of victory for the GOP, and a relatively “safe” seat.
Ryan wins thanks to favorable redistricting, even after losing his hometown. In the final analysis, Paul Ryan may have retained his House seat, but after the fight of his political career. This on the night he failed to deliver a critical Wisconsin for Mitt Romney, and Tammy Baldwin defeated a state political legend in Tommy Thompson.
The 43% of voters in the 1st Congressional District will undoubtedly have a close eye on Paul Ryan – as will Rob Zerban.
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