Will Scott Walker Run For President? The Answer May Depend On Paul Ryan

Experts Disagree On Whether A Paul Ryan Presidential Campaign Would Deter Governor Walker From Running

Gov. Scott Walker, left, and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan. Photos: Shawn Johnson/Love 4 Utah (CC-BY).

Gov. Scott Walker’s recent remarks have only fueled speculation that he might run for president, but whether or not he runs could hinge on U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan’s ambitions.

During the closing days of Walker’s campaign, Ryan traveled with with the governor on his campaign bus. Walker had recently said he’d be the “president of the Paul Ryan fan club” if Ryan ran for President. During a stop in Eau Claire, Ryan was asked if he felt the same way.

“I am the president of the Scott Walker fan club,” said Ryan.

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Walker chimed in: “It’s a mutual admiration society.”

At least to the public eye, Walker and Ryan are friends. However, it’s possible that they might both want the same job in 2016. Kyle Kondik, the managing editor for Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said that if Walker gets into the race, he would be taken seriously.

“But he’s also not the kind of candidate who by entering the race would necessarily dissuade others from running,” said Kondik. “I think that Paul Ryan, if he got in, would be seen as a top-tier contender who might prevent other people from getting in.”

Kondik that compared to Walker, Ryan’s name carries more “gravitas” in the Republican Party.

He added that former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is another potential candidate who would keep other Republicans weighing a possible run for the White House out of the race.

Donna Hoffman, who heads the Political Science Department at the University of Northern Iowa, thinks there’s nothing keeping both Walker and Ryan from running.

“We could see a similar thing in Texas where you could have Rick Perry and Ted Cruz both running,” said Hoffman. “And again, it’s really not their state profile that’s the most significant factor there — it’s their national profile.”

In exit polling last week, 42 percent of Wisconsin voters said Walker would make a good president, while 46 percent said the same for Ryan.