Ryan's Congressional Opponent Says He's Getting More Campaign Cash
Rob Zerban, who is opposing U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, in the 1st Congressional District this fall, says he is seeing an increase in campaign contributions since Ryan was tapped to be the running mate of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney.
Rob Zerban, the Democratic candidate in the 1st Congressional District, said Sunday he has seen a windfall in campaign donations ever since GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney announced that U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) would be his running mate.
Even though Ryan is the vice presidential nominee and will be on the ballot with Romney, he remains a candidate for his congressional seat as well and will take on Zerban in November.
Not surprisingly, Zerban told about 40 people at The Grind coffee shop in Mount Pleasant on Sunday that he is convinced Ryan will lose both seats.
Zerban pointed to Romney’s poll numbers after the announcement was made and noted that he will benefit as the Obama-Biden campaign continues to hammer away at Ryan’s budget plan.
“The Obama-Biden campaign will highlight every aspect of the Ryan budget in a way that we could have only dreamed of doing… and they are going to do it,” he said.
Zerban also believes some Republicans don’t back Ryan’s budget and that has not translated well for Romney in the polls.
“Usually, a presidential candidate will get a four to a five percent bump in the polls after the announcement — but Paul Ryan’s selection to the VP ticket has had the smallest bump in recorded history. And that’s due to the unpopularity of his ideas in the Ryan budget,” he said.
According to a story in USA Today:
“USA Today/Gallup polls of registered voters after the announcements of running mates since Dick Cheney in 2000 all showed more positive reactions. Only Dan Quayle in a 1988 Harris Poll of likely voters was viewed less positively than Ryan, with 52% rating Quayle as a "fair" or "poor" vice presidential choice. The Ryan poll includes all adults, not just registered voters.”
But Zerban still believes the 1st District race will be a “nail-biter."
The 1st District includes Oak Creek, Greendale, Mount Pleasant, Sturtevant, Caledonia and Muskego.
Over the last several months, there had been some skepticism from Washington, D.C., insiders on whether seat was in play. But after Romney’s announcement, there has been more media attention on the contest. That has translated into more dollars for Zerban’s war chest. A campaign aide said Zerban has received about $100,000 in contributions in the week since Ryan was announced as Romney's running mate.
However, Zerban has a long way to go if he expects to catch up with Ryan. As of July 25, Ryan had raised $4.3 million for the congressional race, while Zerban had taken in $1.2 million, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Ryan still has about $5.4 million on hand, according to the FEC. That's 10 times as much as the $527,000 Zerban had in his war chest as of July 25.
Still, Zerban said the Ryan nomination has been good for the race and the district.
“People in the district are realizing just now how much Ryan really hasn’t done anything for them,” Zerban said.
Attempts were made Sunday night to reach Ryan’s campaign staff, but no calls were returned.