July 8th, 2014
11:56 AM ET
5 months ago

Cleveland to hold 2016 Republican convention

Washington (CNN) - 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 early August meeting in Chicago.

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 the 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 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.

An 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.

Why Cleveland

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.


Filed under: 2016 • Republican National Convention • RNC
soundoff (287 Responses)
  1. Shawn

    I'm sure Dallas allowing about 2,000 of the migrant children to be housed in Dallas scared them off – haha – Republicans tend to be scared of situations that cause them to actually reflect on their supposed Christian values

    July 8, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. jim

    We here in cleveland we are used to people bad mouthing the city. I moved here from Phily after growing up in Baltimore. I'd rate Cleveland heads and shoulders above either of those cities. The cost of living is great, the park systems are unreal, the restaurants are top notch, the theatre district is without a doubt the best except for broadway, 3 major sports teams, a great orchestra and a wonderful downtown which is where I live. Oh ya sits right on Lake Erie which boasts the best fresh water sport fishing of any of the great lakes. I'm an independent voter but welcome the republican party to my adopted city.

    July 8, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. dk

    Thank you Cleveland! – from a grateful Dallasite.....

    July 8, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. AJ

    As a born and raised Ohioan, I'm not sure what to think. They chose the bluest and most union friendly part of the state. Sure, they held their convention in NYC a few cycles ago, so I shouldn't be shocked. Hopefully the city gets some money out of it – they could use it.

    As for what the RNC gets out of it, I doubt it will help them. Lets face it, if there's one thing Cleveland is not known for it's winning (ask the Browns, Cavs, Indians)

    Oh well, enjoy the factory of sadness. In the meantime, I'll keep my fingers crossed that the DNC chooses Columbus

    July 8, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  5. BigTex

    They tried to rig the voting in Ohio in 2012, now they plan to bribe them. We all know this area is desperately hurting for money. Why not bring in the GOP & the Koch brothers to spend all their money there. Not a bad idea( for once) GOP, but like the last few time, IT WON"T WORK!!!!

    July 8, 2014 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  6. CAW

    A tired old city for a tired old party. How fitting.

    Obviously this is just a ploy to get Ohio to swing.

    July 8, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  7. betterdays

    Hope no one gets lost in the basement on their way to the stage...

    July 8, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  8. bvilleyellowdog

    Will it be as lame as the last one.
    More racism and talking to chairs?

    July 8, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  9. TheBloch

    Fred Evil
    (SNORT!) Cleveland?!
    You guys couldn't wait to get less relevant, could you?

    =======================================================================================

    You know nothing of how important Ohio is as a swing state....and Cuyahoga County (where Cleveland is located) has been the county that has put whoever wins the state over the top.

    July 8, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    ""And RNC Chairman Reince Priebus added that "A Cleveland convention offers our party a great steppingstone to the White House in 2016 ... ""

    Here that Cleveland? The RNC wants to step all over you and trample you underfoot.

    BTW, I don't get the people crapping on Cleveland. It's not that bad...good upcoming food scene and they're smart enough to not vote GOP/Teatroll for the most part (ranks within top 15 of the most liberal cities in the country...I'm seeing as #11 on most lists). The GOP/Teatrolls may hope the convention will blunt the local differential and help them take Ohio overall. It won't.

    July 8, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  11. Peter Griffin

    Oh my god who. the hell. caaaaares!

    July 8, 2014 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  12. Waterboard

    No way will Lebron return now with so many racists coming to Cleveland.

    July 8, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. Frank

    Look at the bright side: it's not that far a drive to Buffalo, where the real action is.

    July 8, 2014 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  14. steve

    30 million already on the bank for this? The citizens money should be put to better use than this.

    July 8, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  15. Frank

    Stay strong Cleveland. We can't afford another Republican in office to gut the new insurance plan that has helped millions.

    July 8, 2014 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  16. Paulie 'Little sack of" Donuts

    Time for the tolerant liberals to pile on Cleveland. Way to go!

    July 8, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  17. mgg606

    Makes complete sense seeing how Ohio, and more specifically northeast Ohio, holds a lot of elective power. Unfortunately due to the economic depression there, it will surely go Dem anyways.

    July 8, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. America Suckered Again

    Republicans will rock Cleveland.

    July 8, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. rs

    Past trends show that the GOP has lost in the state they hold their convention in. This trend then says they lose Ohio in 2016. They cannot win a national election for President without Ohio.

    July 8, 2014 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. ChristopherM

    Wow, that is an awfully minority-dominated city for them to be selling pancake mix with Obama on the package as Aunt Jemima as they did at the 2012 convention.

    July 8, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Tom Bukowski

    Don' care where either Party holds their convention. I won't be paying attention to either one. Dog and pony show is all it is.
    Of course we can learn which corporations gave the most money to buy their wishes.

    July 8, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. nolimits33

    Get ready to party like it's 1899!

    July 8, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  23. Tony in STL

    I'm thinking that Cleveland doesn't want them either! 6 years of doing absolutely nothing worthwhile. Embarrassingly absurd gop.

    July 8, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  24. MaryM

    Tampa is still waiting for the RNC to pay their bills from their convention in 2012. Good luck Cleveland, you are going to need it

    July 8, 2014 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  25. bill

    better Cleveland than dallas, we don't need any nra confederate flag waving natzis gathering in our city!

    July 8, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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