(MILWAUKEE) — Paul Ryan held his final rally of the campaign in his home state Monday night, telling his fellow Wisconsinites that while they may not have been in the presidential spotlight in a long time, that time is now over.
“They have always taken us for granted, Wisconsin,” Ryan said to a crowd of 2,500, including Wisconsin political leaders and many family members. “They thought it was easy. We haven’t gone Republican since 1984. One more day… Let’s prove them wrong.”
The last time the Badger State went red in a presidential election was in 1984 when Ronald Reagan defeated Walter Mondale in a landslide, but Mitt Romney’s selection of Ryan as a running mate has helped to put Wisconsin in contention.
The GOP vice presidential nominee was introduced by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who he warmly embraced when he took the stage. Walker noted that five months ago Monday night he overcame the recall effort there.
“We’ve got one more left,” Ryan said, referring to one more election. “We’ve had a lot of elections here in Wisconsin lately. We know how they work and we know how to win them.”
Polls still suggest a slight lead for President Obama in Wisconsin, but Republicans, including Ryan, frequently point to their success fending off a recall of Walker and Republican state legislators as evidence of an effective ground game. On Monday night, Ryan even noted “we know how to win…we know how to get people to the polls.”
Ryan told the crowd that this home state rally was a “special moment” for him to be home in “God’s country” and he and his family have had an “incredible” time on their two and half month sprint to this moment.
“I’ve got to tell you the experience that Janna and Liza and Sam and Charlie and I have had together, meeting with people around this country has warmed our hearts it has been incredible, so many Americans have come out to get their country back on the right track,” Ryan said.
The rally, which ended just before the clock struck Nov. 6, marked the end of a marathon three-day sprint around the country that took the Wisconsin congressman to nine of the 11 states in contention. On Monday, he campaigned in five states in four time zones, hopping out of his campaign plane and into rallies mostly in airplane hangars in Nevada, Colorado, Iowa and Ohio, and ending in Wisconsin.
Ryan will vote in his home town of Janesville, Wis., Tuesday morning with his wife, and although Monday evening was supposed to be his final event of the 2012 cycle, the Romney campaign added two more stops to the schedule late Monday night. Ryan will return to Ohio on Tuesday, stopping in Cleveland then traveling to Richmond, Va., before heading to Boston to be with Romney as the results come in.
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