The DNC is quickly narrowing their list of possible locations for their 2016 presidential convention, and the choices present some interesting possibilities. The finalists are Philadelphia, New York City and Columbus, Ohio.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, announced the finalist cities on Monday; Phoenix, Arizona, and Birmingham, Alabama, didn’t make the cut.
The decision on the winning city is expected early next year, and the convention itself will be held either the week of July 18, July 25 or Aug. 22, according to the committee.
The Big Apple is obviously the most familiar venue for huge events and they have the infrastructure to support it. But if you subscribe to the widely disabused theory that the site of a party’s convention affects the election outcome, New York City makes no sense. (I say “disabused” because the sweltering, green zone style, urban jungle warfare we endured in Tampa Bay in 2012 failed to deliver Florida for the GOP.) The Democrats are going to win New York anyway, and almost certainly New Jersey as well, even if Chris Christie is on the other ticket. New York is also a complicated pick because it would immediately result in both Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio (both pols with national aspirations) having their beaks under the edge of the tent and potentially trying to make the show about them.
Philadelphia is probably a safe choice, but much the same as New York, the Democrats aren’t terribly worried about carrying Pennsylvania. And that leaves Columbus. Ohio remains a swing state, so pumping a quarter billion dollars into their economy wouldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings. But the complicating feature here is that the Republicans will be holding their convention in Cleveland. And given the dates under discussion, it’s conceivable (though unlikely) that they could take place during the same week.
Does Ohio have enough donors to support both of these shows? Are there enough caterers and tourist services and general infrastructure for two parties of that magnitude unfolding at the same time? And it would drive the media insane, having to spit their teams up between two cities and bounce back and forth between locations for their coverage. As I said above, it’s probably the least likely scenario, but it would make for one heck of a popcorn munching circus to behold.