UPDATED, 12:55 p.m., to reflect that Risch considers Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida to be the three most important states in the presidential election.
Rep. Paul Ryan is a popular budget-writer in GOP circles. Based on the math of the Electoral College, Mitt Romney would have been better off looking elsewhere for a running mate.
That was the assessment offered by Sen. Jim Risch in a Statesman editorial board meeting Thursday. "(Ryan) was not my first choice for vice president."
Ryan may put Wisconsin — and its 10 electoral votes — back in play in the Nov. 6 election. But Risch said Romney might have been better off selecting Sen. Rob Portman, who could help Romney capture Ohio's 18 electoral votes.
Ohio, Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes) and Florida (29 electoral votes) are the three most important states in the presidential election, according to Risch. The candidate who captures at least two will win the White House.
President Barack Obama won all three of these states in 2008 — as well as Wisconsin.