WASHINGTON — The Republican National Committee announced Tuesday that their Site Selection Committee has picked Cleveland to host the 2016 Republican National Convention.
The full membership of the RNC is expected to ratify the Site Selection Committee’s recommendation at its August meeting.
Last month the RNC narrowed the competition down to two finalists: Cleveland and Dallas. Denver, Kansas City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Cincinnati, and Columbus, Ohio were previously dropped from contention.
In January the RNC approved a rule change that would move the date of the GOP convention from its usual date of late August or early September to as early as late June.
Cleveland gives the Republicans a chance to hold their nominating convention in Ohio, a crucial battleground state. No Republican in modern times has won the White House without carrying the Buckeye State.
Cleveland’s twice hosted presidential conventions: the 1924 and 1936 Republican conventions.
For a city, a convention is a costly affair as the host is expected to raise upwards of $60 million to help pay for it. But if managed correctly, a convention pays off as the surrounding communities are flooded with as many as 50,000 new visitors and the area is showcased on an international stage for weeks leading up to the event.
A Republican official tells CNN that Cleveland already has an unprecedented $30 million in the bank towards its convention bid.
Where will Democrats hold their 2016 convention?
Six cities are bidding to host the 2016 Democratic National Committee. The six cites are Birmingham, Alabama, Cleveland, Columbus, New York City, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
The Democratic National Committee says its Technical Advisory Committee will visit all six cities this summer. The DNC plans to have a final decision by late this year or early 2015.
The RNC Site Selection Committee’s decision on Cleveland, assuming it’s ratified in August by the full RNC, means in reality that the city is off the DNC’s list.
“The DNC’s exclusivity clause is triggered when a city signs a contract with another political party but given today’s news, we’ll discuss with Cleveland and determine whether a site visit is still necessary,” the DNC said in a statement Tuesday.
Site Selection Chairwoman Enid Mickelsen said in a statement that her panel “was tasked with difficult decisions and was presented with several strong options to host our convention.”
But she added that she’s “confident Cleveland is the right pick for our next national convention. Cleveland has demonstrated they have the commitment, energy, and terrific facilities to help us deliver a history-making Republican convention.”
And RNC Chairman Reince Priebus added that “A Cleveland convention offers our party a great steppingstone to the White House in 2016, and I’m encouraged by the committee’s recommendation. The team from Cleveland has gone above and beyond the call of duty and I think they’re representative of a city eager to show the country all the fantastic things they have to offer.”
“The RNC set a new standard for conventions during this process. Not only will the convention be held earlier in 2016, but there are also substantial guarantees in place for funding that put us well ahead of previous conventions and will give our nominee the best opportunity to succeed,” Priebus added.
As for the losing city, Mickelsen said that “Dallas is a world class city with wonderful venues and fantastic people and I’m certain they’ll make a great host for our party in the future. The Dallas team were excellent ambassadors for their city and showed both the committee and the RNC all the wonderful things the city has to offer.”
Cleveland, the nation’s 45th most populous city according to the 2010 census, may be best known as the home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But the northeastern Ohio city, along the shores of Lake Erie and bisected by the Cuyahoga River, is also home to the Cleveland Clinic, which is ranked among America’s best hospitals. The city averages high temperatures in the low 80’s during the summer.
While holding a convention in a crucial battleground state such as Ohio may seem like a plus, it far from guarantees a political party will win that state come November. The last time the GOP captured the state where they held their presidential nominating convention was 1992, when the party held camp in Houston.
Last time around neither party (the Democrats in Charlotte, North Carolina and the GOP in Tampa, Florida) carried the state where they held their convention.
“There doesn’t seem to be a correlation between conventions and winning particular states,” Priebus said earlier this year.