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President Obama hitting the campaign trail over the weekend in Milwaukee visiting the state for the first time since Wisconsin congressman Paul Ryan joined the Republican ticket.
First Lady Michelle Obama will be in the state next week her second visit in four weeks.
Governor Mitt Romney met with his supporters in Wisconsin on two occasions over the summer so -- a closer look at some key facts.
Wisconsin holds ten electoral votes.
The unemployment rate is seven point 3% which is below the national average of eight point 1%.
And right now the average price for unleaded gasoline is 39.
The latest polls show the president holding a big lead over governor Romney in Wisconsin the real clear politics average shows he's nearly eight points ahead 51 point five.
To 43 point seven.
Joining us right now is Craig Gilbert the Washington bureau chief and national political reporter for the Milwaukee journal sentinel thanks for joining us.
Nice -- it is so we show that latest poll Obama up nearly eight points there with the economy still struggling.
A US ambassador murdered in an attack on our consulates Republicans say they're surprised by these numbers why are the battleground states tilting left.
Well eight points is probably a little generous but the movement has been in Obama's direction the race in Wisconsin it tightened up after Paul Ryan.
Was selected say you've seen across the country since the Democratic Convention the Democrats.
Getting a balance I think one of the ominous things in Wisconsin for governor Romney is you know he does have.
You -- -- greatest image in the state he's there's a perception in the polling that his policies -- Toward upper income voters he's got to counter that the Republicans have some real assets of Wisconsin and they won two big elections last.
Two years they've got a great ground game and they got Paul Ryan on the ticket so they have.
Assets to work but they've got sort of I think find a way to counter the Obama message against Romney.
-- Wisconsin has voted Democrat in the last six a six of the last eight presidential elections but does you mentioned Republicans do see some opportunities there.
A governor Scott Walker a Republican survived.
That recall attempts does that signify a shift in thinking.
Well I would think -- to find out in November I mean there were some parts of Wisconsin that President Obama carried by double digits.
In 2008 that Scott Walker carried by twenty or thirty points.
So the big the million dollar question is whether that was a shift in the states politically or whether it was just -- rejection of the recall itself.
Which is very controversial I mean that there's outside of Milwaukee the democratic base in Milwaukee and Madison the Republican base in the Republican suburbs.
There's some real swing areas rural voters it's very competitive and and those voters are -- really decide this race.
You mentioned -- -- I'm reading me congressman Paul Ryan of course being from Wisconsin.
How much of a boost is there is there more there for of the congressmen to help Republicans.
Well he got a bounce already he's.
You know I think people there -- -- home state -- -- -- sat down on with.
Congressman Ryan on his campaign plane.
A couple days ago and that talk -- -- about this and I asked him -- he thought he was worth a few points of the ticket in Wisconsin he said he thought he was he said he thought.
There's a home state factor people root for the home team I think most Democrats would concede that but the question is.
Is that -- one or two point margin or is that something better than that and it and it may have to be something better than that if current polling trends continue.
How important is Wisconsin to the selection.
It's big I mean.
One reason one way -- the way I think about it is that.
It's probably the republicans' best shot at turning a state that's been consistently -- I mean when you look at the problems that Romney's having -- in a place like Ohio.
They need to expand the map they need to move into -- territory and Pennsylvania and Michigan.
The other candidates are not looking too good right now so Wisconsin I think they've got more purchase on that -- given what we've talked about the recent political history.
You know it's one of these running the table scenarios but it -- have to.
They have to win the great preponderance contested states Wisconsin gives them that more has to victory.
All right so we shall see what happens Craig Gilbert the Washington bureau chief and national political.
Reporter for the Milwaukee journal sentinel thank you so much for joining us thank you.
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