Election Strategy: GOP Considers Sin City and 7 Others for RNC Host

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The roster of Republican candidates running in the primaries of the 2016 presidential election are far from set, but candidates for the host of the Republican National Convention are being vetted. On Thursday, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced the finalists — Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Dallas, Kansas City, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, and which city will eventually be chosen will have more to do with the strategic position that each city represents in the upcoming elections than the quality of their convention centers.

There may be no hard and fast evidence that links electoral success with the placement of a party’s convention, and as University of Maine political scientist Richard Powell noted in a 2004 article, “generally, parties do not derive significant electoral benefits in states selected to host the national convention,” but it can be argued that it cannot hurt to have GOP’s presidential candidate emerge into the public limelight in a strategically important city.

On the other side, the chosen city derives significant economic and publicity benefits from hosting the party’s presidential nomination convention. The 2012 convention, where Mitt Romney was nominated, brought an influx of $404 million into Tampa’s economy.

All eight cities will send representatives to Washington on Monday to present their bid to host the convention, which will likely take place in June or July of 2016, rather than the traditional month of August. It is expected that the winner will be announced in late summer or early fall of this year.

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