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Wisconsin, Midwest Lag in Presidential Endorsements from US Representatives

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None of the five Badger State US House members have formally backed a candidate to date with the Midwest at a regional low rate of 36 percent

paulryan10.jpgDespite his repeated proclamation that he will not endorse any candidate during the primary, there is still speculation that all-star Wisconsin U.S. Representative and House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan will join his party's establishment - like Jeb Bush earlier this week - and formally endorse Mitt Romney.

But it's not just Ryan who has refrained to dole out an endorsement to one of the four remaining members of the Republican field.

Wisconsin has two of the nation's Top 15 most senior members of the U.S. House in Jim Sensenbrenner of the state's 5th CD (#14, 17 terms) and Tom Petri of the 6th CD (#15, 17 terms) - and neither has endorsed a candidate to date.

Nor have the greenest members of the state's delegation: GOP freshmen Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble of the state's 7th and 8th CDs respectively.

And now, with the Wisconsin primary less than two weeks away, the question lingers whether a 'big announcement' will come from any of these five members of the nation's lower legislative chamber.

A Smart Politics review of endorsements by U.S. Representatives in the race for the Republican presidential nomination finds Wisconsin has the largest remaining GOP delegation which has yet to formally back a candidate, and that Midwestern representatives overall have been the most deliberate on the endorsement front in the 2012 campaign.

Wisconsin is one of 11 states with at least one Republican U.S. Representative that has yet to endorse a candidate, and has the largest such delegation at five GOP members.

Joining the Badger State are Oklahoma (with four Republican members), Kansas (4), Nebraska (3), Iowa (2), West Virginia (2), Alaska (1), Montana (1), South Dakota (1), Montana (1), and North Dakota (1).

Overall, 105 of the 241 Republican representatives in the House (excluding Ron Paul) have endorsed a candidate, or 43.6 percent: 72 for Mitt Romney, 11 for Newt Gingrich, 11 for Rick Perry, six for Rick Santorum, three for Ron Paul, and two for Tim Pawlenty.

(Note: Pawlenty, Gingrich, and Perry all received additional endorsements by U.S. House members who have since backed another campaign).

There has not been a notable difference in the endorsement rate of representatives in states that have voted compared to those which have not.

In fact, the endorsement rate is marginally higher among the Republican U.S. House members in the 22 states that have not yet voted (44.5 percent, 49 of 110) than among those from the 28 states that have already held their contests (42.7 percent, 56 of 131).

Regionally, the Midwest has been the most gun shy on the endorsement front this cycle.

Despite two-thirds of the region's dozen states already holding their primaries or caucuses, just 36.9 percent of the Midwest GOP delegation have endorsed a candidate (24 of 65 members) - lowest in the country.

Republican U.S. Representatives from the West have been quickest to endorse at 53.5 percent (23 of 43), followed by the South at 44.7 percent (46 of 103, excluding Ron Paul), and the Northeast at 40.0 percent (12 of 30).

Republican U.S. Representative 2012 Presidential Endorsements by Region

Region
Yes
No
Total
% Yes
West
23
20
43
53.5
South*
46
57
103
44.7
Northeast
12
18
30
40.0
Midwest
24
41
65
36.9
Note: Southern region excludes Texas U.S. Representative and presidential candidate Ron Paul. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

Representatives from six Midwestern states have yet to endorse a candidate to date (16 members in total): Wisconsin, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Michigan is the outlier in the region - with all nine of its Republican members formally backing a candidate: Justin Amash for Ron Paul, Candice Miller for Rick Perry (then Romney), and Dan Benishek, Dave Camp, Bill Huizenga, Thad McCotter, Mike Rogers, Fred Upton, and Tim Walberg for Romney.

Only 26 percent of the remaining 56 members of the Midwestern GOP delegation across the other 11 states have made an endorsement in the race.

Unlike Michigan, just three of Ohio's 13 Republican members of the House have made endorsements.

Down south in Louisiana, which holds its primary on Saturday, only two of the state's six representatives have endorsed to date - Rodney Alexander for Romney and Steve Scalise for ex-candidate Rick Perry.

Republican U.S. Representative 2012 Presidential Endorsements by State

State
Region
Held contest
Yes
No
% Yes
Michigan
Midwest
Yes
9
0
100.0
Utah
West
No
2
0
100.0
Nevada
West
Yes
2
0
100.0
Oregon
West
No
1
0
100.0
Wyoming
West
Yes
1
0
100.0
Washington
West
Yes
3
1
75.0
North Carolina
South
No
4
2
66.7
Arkansas
South
No
2
1
66.7
Georgia
South
Yes
5
3
62.5
Texas
South
No
13
9
59.1
Pennsylvania
Northeast
No
7
5
58.3
Tennessee
South
Yes
4
3
57.1
California
West
No
10
9
52.6
Missouri
Midwest
Yes
3
3
50.0
Minnesota
Midwest
Yes
2
2
50.0
Kentucky
South
No
2
2
50.0
Maryland
Northeast
No
1
1
50.0
New Hampshire
Northeast
Yes
1
1
50.0
Idaho
West
Yes
1
1
50.0
Illinois
Midwest
Yes
5
6
45.5
Florida
South
Yes
8
11
42.1
South Carolina
South
Yes
2
3
40.0
Arizona
West
Yes
2
3
40.0
Indiana
Midwest
No
2
4
33.3
Louisiana
South
No
2
4
33.3
Alabama
South
Yes
2
4
33.3
Mississippi
South
Yes
1
2
33.3
New York
Northeast
No
2
6
25.0
Colorado
West
Yes
1
3
25.0
Ohio
Midwest
Yes
3
10
23.1
New Jersey
Northeast
No
1
5
16.7
Virginia
South
Yes
1
7
12.5
Wisconsin
Midwest
No
0
5
0.0
Kansas
Midwest
Yes
0
4
0.0
Oklahoma
South
Yes
0
4
0.0
Nebraska
Midwest
No
0
3
0.0
Iowa
Midwest
Yes
0
2
0.0
West Virginia
South
No
0
2
0.0
South Dakota
Midwest
No
0
1
0.0
North Dakota
Midwest
Yes
0
1
0.0
Montana
West
No
0
1
0.0
New Mexico
West
No
0
1
0.0
Alaska
West
Yes
0
1
0.0
Note: Republicans do not hold any seats in the U.S. House in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

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