GILBERT, Ariz. (AP) — When a little-known Alaska governor stepped onto the American political stage as John McCain's running mate four years ago, the choice was intended to be a game-changer.
While Sarah Palin gave a boost to the Republican Arizona senator's presidential campaign initially, her campaign overall had mixed results.
Now voters and election watchers are trying to determine if Republican Mitt Romney's choice of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his running mate will be a game-changer in this year's elections.
Those who have studied elections and vice presidential choices say the VP choice doesn't do much, if anything, to affect the outcome most years.
But they say it can make a difference in a very close race.
EDITOR'S NOTE _ Another story in the occasional series "American Pulse," plumbing deeper currents in American politics in this election year.