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Ryan rallies Badger State toward GOP in campaign's closing days

Paul Ryan touts job growth and debt reduction at a campaign event in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.


EAU CLAIRE, Wisc. -- Six days before Election Day, Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is devoting an entire day of campaigning in his home state of Wisconsin, a state which hasn’t gone for Republicans in a presidential election in nearly two decades.

“We are used to being battleground states. There are a handful of states that will determine the outcome of this election and Wisconsin is one of them. And so know that we have a unique responsibility and a unique opportunity to help determine the course of this country for along time,” Ryan said after proclaiming his excitement to be back home.

Mary Altaffer / AP

Republican vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. greets supporters during a campaign event, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in Eau Claire, Wis.

The Badger State, which last awarded its electoral votes to a Republican presidential candidate in 1984, could be a determining factor on Nov. 6.

The seven-term Wisconsin congressman (who's up for re-election to his House seat next week) was optimistic about next week’s results, speaking at his first of three events Wednesday.

“So this is Wednesday morning. Think about next Wednesday morning,” Ryan told the crowd packed inside Florian Gardens. “We are going to wake up next Wednesday morning and know that we have elected a leader to put our country back on the right track.”

Ryan’s stop here marks his 12th event in Wisconsin.

Romney was originally planning to hold a rally in Milwaukee on Tuesday but was forced to cancel the event due to Hurricane Sandy's impact on the East Coast. The GOP VP nominee stopped by two Wisconsin Victory Centers on Tuesday to thank volunteers for gathering donations to send to victims of the storm.

Ryan will head to rallies in Green Bay and Racine later today before taking part in Halloween trick-or-treating with his three children tonight.