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Wisconsin is among a group of Midwest states pivotal to the presidential race. Both campaigns are showering money and attention on the region, especially Ohio, Iowa and Michigan, where Republicans also made gains in 2010. Recent polls that showed Obama with a small lead over Romney in Wisconsin were conducted before Ryan’s selection as Romney’s running mate.

Obama’s campaign has had a head start in the state. It has opened more than 40 offices and briefly aired television ads here; Romney’s campaign has 25 offices and is tapping into the network Republicans used to help Walker beat back the recall attempt.

Democrat Tom Barrett, the Milwaukee mayor who lost to Walker in both 2010 and in the recall, said Ryan’s selection could make the state more closely contested.

“Up to this point, it has certainly not been a battleground state in terms of resources,” Barrett said. “Both sides will ratchet it up in Wisconsin.”

Wisconsin residents have grown used to, and a little fatigued, by the attention.

“We’re kind of like the political weather vane,” said high school English teacher Dream Gunther, 38, of Milwaukee, an Obama supporter. “We’re at the forefront of change.”