Trivial Pursuit time: How many presidential tickets have lost their home states?
We’ll provide the answer shortly, but the point of this is to note that Republicans Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan are the first ticket since 1972 that failed to carry their home states.
It was widely expected that Romney would lose reliably blue Massachusetts, which has only voted four times since 1928 for a GOP presidential nominee. That was twice for Dwight Eisenhower and twice for Ronald Reagan.
Wisconsin, of course, is a different story. Ryan’s home state was a hotly contested battleground, made even more so by Republican gains in statewide offices and Congress. Plus, there was the matter of GOP Gov. Scott Walker’s ability to beat back a recall effort this year.
Obama won Wisconsin last week by about 7 percentage points. Ryan told WISC-TV this week he was disappointed he and Romney didn’t win the Badger State.
“We had hoped to win Wisconsin, fought hard for Wisconsin,” Ryan said in the TV interview. “We cut the president’s lead in half, but nevertheless it wasn’t enough.”
So what’s the answer to our trivia question? Smart Politics, the blog at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, says there have been 20 instances in which the presidential and VP candidates on a ticket failed to carry their home states.
In 1972, the last time it happened, George McGovern came close but didn'’t carry South Dakota in his blow-out loss to Richard Nixon. McGovern lost running mate Sargent Shriver’s home state of Maryland by nearly 24 points.