HUDSON, Wis. -- Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan officially became the Vice Presidential nominee Wednesday night showing how far Wisconsin has come in four years.
In 2008, President Barack Obama won the state by a whopping 14 points; now three influential Republicans are proud cheese heads and keeping the national spotlight shining brightly on the Badger State.
First, Reince Priebus became the Republican National Committee Chairmen last year. Governor Scott Walker survived an historic recall election in June. Walker spoke Tuesday at the RNC convention and has become a hero to the political right.
Mix that with Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate and you have a lot of people watching Wisconsin.
"It's pretty unusual to have this many from one state at any one time," said UW-River Falls Political Science Professor Neil Kraus.
It's unusual but also potentially important said Kraus. Obama is leading Romney in Wisconsin by only a few percentage points. That said, turning Wisconsin to a red state come November may be difficult, but Wisconsin's high political profile could get more voters to the polls.
"They're very excited and they probably would have voted for Romney anyway," he said of Wisconsin Republicans. "Then again, if you get a few more votes in a close state it could make a difference."
It is also making a difference at the grassroots level.
"We've had recalls and recounts and this is a good shot in the arm," said Jesse Garza, St. Croix County GOP chairman.
At a convention viewing party in Hudson Wednesday night, Garza along with a couple dozen or so Republicans watched Ryan address the convention delegates. He says Romney's pick was perfect timing because volunteers were running on empty after the recall elections.
"That is going to be a wonderful asset at trying to raise money, getting activists involved in the state," he said of the Ryan pick.
It's involvement for both sides that will make a difference in what is shaping up to be a very close election.
"It is two months away, all kind of things can happen," said Kraus.
(Copyright 2012 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)