Political experts say Speaker Ryan's departure will still be a " - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Political experts say Speaker Ryan's departure will still be a "tough to win" for Democrats

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MADISON (WKOW) --  House Speaker Paul Ryan’s mid-year retirement has political insiders weighing in on what this means for both parties. Now many are turning their attention to a race that political experts expected to be a guaranteed Republican win in November.

"The 1st District certainly becomes more competitive now," said David Canon, a UW-Madison professor of political science. “There's no doubt that Ryan would have been the clear favorite to win re-election although a lot of people are saying it'd be a more competitive race this year than it had been in the past."

Once the news broke Wednesday both parties began gearing up, especially Republicans as it could be another sign of trouble for the party.

"Everyone talks about the potential blue wave that could be sweeping the country in November and now the speaker stepping down, many people are seeing that as a signal that maybe there will be a Democratic majority of the House," said Canon.

Other analysts say history shows the 1st Congressional District typically leans red. Ryan has won each election by about a 30-point margin and GOP presidential candidates have won by a 10- to 14-point margin.

"In an open seat in a year that's nationally favoring Democrats, I think that does turn the seat into a quite competitive seat, but it's voting history certainly leans Republican, so Democrats will have to overcome that,"  said Charles Franklin with the Marquette University Law School.

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