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2012 Election: Paul Ryan's Wealth and Fundraising Potential

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(Editor's note: This was published by Open Secrets before Romney selected Paul Ryan as his running mate.)

Although many Republicans initially wanted Rep.Paul Ryan(R-WI) to run for president in 2012, they still may get to see him on the ticket asMitt Romney's running mate.

The two have campaigned together a number of times since Romney made his first stop in the Badger State back in April ahead of the state's presidential primary, prompting many to believe Ryan is on the shortlist to be the GOP's vice presidential candidate.

As chairman of the powerfulHouse Budget Committee, Ryan has become an increasingly polarizing figure largely due to two controversial budget plans he has released over the past two years. Both titled The Path to Prosperity, they would reduce federal spending and tax rates and dramatically alter government health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid. These bold proposals have turned the young congressman into an all-star within his own party, but a villain to Democrats.

Aside from widespread popularity among the Republican base, the 42-year-old could also bring some serious fundraising prowess to the party's ticket. According toCenter for Responsive Politicsresearch, only five House candidates have raised more than the $3.1 million Ryan had brought in this cycle through the end of March, when his campaign also reported having more than $5 million in cash-on-hand. In 2010, Ryan raised just under $4 million.

Throughout his 14-year career in the House, Ryan's top donor has been the insurance and financial service company Northwest Mutual, which has donated a total of $89,300 to Ryan's campaigns through its political action committee and employees. Ryan has also received a total of $75,000 in PAC money from the National Beer Wholesalers Association and $65,500 from Koch Industries.

Among industries, insurance and securities and investment have been the most generous to Ryan, donating about $812,000 and $743,000 respectively during his tenure. 

Ryan also formed a leadership PAC in 2002 called Prosperity PAC. It has become more active in supporting GOP candidates as Ryan has climbed his way up the ladder of power in the House. In the 2010 cycle, the PAC raised more than $1 million, but its total thus far in 2012 is already more than triple that figure, clocking in at more than $3.6 million at the end of March.

As for his personal wealth, Roll Call reported that Ryan has a minimum net worth of $1.9 million based off recent financial disclosure reports from 2011. That's a substantial increase from his minimum worth of $927,000 in 2010, according the Center for Responsive Politics. With an average net worth of $2.1 million that year, Ryan was the 124th wealthiest member of the House. In 2010, he held 100 assets, including stock in Apple, Procter and Gamble and Wells Fargo.

Like most potential VP nominees, Ryan's from a state that could tip the Electoral College balance in November. Wisconsin hasn't gone red since Ronald Reagan was re-elected, but Republicans think they have a shot to reverse that trend in 2012, especially given GOP Gov. Scott Walker's resounding victory in the June recall election.

If Romney ultimately goes with Ryan, though, he'll be picking someone who's well-versed in the ways of Washington and of Republican politics, which could be both a plus and a minus:  Prior to being elected to Congress, Ryan worked for Sen. Bob Kasten (R-WI), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Rep. Jack Kemp (R-NY).


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