Several in this city of 71,000 said they supported Ryans hugely controversial plan to largely privatize Medicare, saying they havent seen a good alternative from the Democrats to reform entitlement programs.
But in Milwaukee, about 20 miles away, Mayor Tom Barrett, blasted the pick. He said Saturday and again Sunday that Ryan is a nice guy but had the wrong vision for the country, and that his plan would gut Medicare, the health insurance program for senior citizens.
Polls show that, although the Ryan pick is likely to help Romney in Wisconsin, Obama remains the favorite to win the state.
Not in Waukesha, though, a place where a downtown furniture store bears a giant banner reading "25 years ago we had Ronald Reagan, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope. Now we have Obama, no cash and no hope."
Waukesha resident Kurtis Bebberich wasnt sure Romney is the answer, though his own critique wasnt about economic policy.
Its cool that he picked someone from Wisconsin, Bebberich said. "Im not too crazy about Romney, though, because of some of the doctrine of the Mormon Church.
Still, there was no doubt that on Day 2 of the Romney-Ryan ticket, there was a new energy in the campaign. In High Point, Romney was buoyant as he bounded from his bus in the middle of a street, waving to supporters who lined the curb, even obliging some with high-fives.
It was hard to tell who was more enthusiastic, the candidate or the crowd.
In Mooresville, Romney stood in front of a stock car bearing his name at the NASCAR Technical Institute. He spoke to a roomful of 1,700 people with thousands more listening outside. So boisterous was the crowd -- frequently breaking into chants of U-S-A, U-S-A -- that GOP gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory said, feel like Im in Woodstock.
As if to underline the stakes, Vice President Joe Biden will visit Durham Monday and Romney returns to Charlotte for a Wednesday fundraiser. The National Journal reported that since May 1, both the Obama and Romney campaigns and their allies have spent around $30 million on TV ads in the state.
The Waukesha rally was likely the final time the Republican ticket will appear together on the campaign trail until the Republican convention. Campaign spokesman Kevin Madden told reporters traveling with the campaign that Ryan will campaign in Iowa on Monday as Romney continues the bus tour in Florida, both swing states.
Cockerham reported from Waukesha, Wisc., Clark, from Chicago, and Douglas, from St. Augustine, Fla. Jim Morrill of The Charlotte Observer and John Frank of the News & Observer in Raleigh contributed to this story.