MILWAUKEE -- At the same time he is running for vice president on the Mitt Romney ticket, Wisconsin's Paul Ryan is also campaigning to keep his seat in Congress. He's allowed to do it under what's called the "Favorite Son Rule." Ryan unveiled a new ad in his Congressional race Wednesday, September 26th.
Ryan is running in the First Congressional District, located in southeastern Wisconsin. The First Congressional District includes Kenosha, Racine and Walworth counties and parts of Milwaukee, Waukesha and Rock counties. These areas are the only places in America where Ryan's name will appear on the ballot twice.
Rob Zerban is running against Ryan for the Congressional seat. Zerban says with less than two months to go, his campaign is gaining momentum. Zerban pointed to recent polls that show Democrats gaining ground in the state of Wisconsin.
Ryan's campaign manager says he is confident about Ryan's chances of winning the seat for an eighth time.
"Our internal polls show Congressman Ryan up 25 points. Even Rob Zerban's own polls, so his best case, show Paul Ryan with an overwhelming lead. We feel really good about where the race is at in the last 45 days," Kevin Siefert said.
In a signal that Ryan is taking this race seriously, the Congressional campaign is running several TV ads.
"His media buy was twice as large as it's ever been in the past. I'm sure he saw what our polling was showing, that he had a real problem here in the First Congressional District and people were not taking kindly to his extreme ideological budget," Zerban said.
"Paul Ryan has always run multiple advertisements, whether that be TV, radio, newspaper ads. It's consistent with what he's done in past presidential elections. We think voters deserve to know what he's doing to fix the problems our economy and our country are facing," Siefert said.
One school of thought says Ryan's position as the Republican vice presidential candidate gives him a huge advantage in name recognition and media attention, but Zerban views it from a different perspective. He says all the attention of the presidential campaign is actually shedding an unflattering light on Ryan's ideas.
"The more that people find out about the provisions of Paul Ryan's budget and what it does -- calls for privatizing Medicare, making it a voucher program, and the cuts that are there for Pell Grants and Stafford loans, and veterans' services would have reduced funding as well. People don't like this," Zerban said.
"Voters know where Paul stands on issues. He spent countless years educating voters on the problems that we face as a country and the solutions to get our country back on track. Rob Zerban -- we really have not heard much in the way of specifics for, so Paul is doing what he can on the national campaign and here to try and make the choice clear," Siefert said.
Zerban has challenged Ryan to debates, something the Ryan campaign says it would like to do if it can work out the schedule. Ryan's next trip to Wisconsin is set for October 6th for a fundraiser at the Pfister Hotel.