U.S.

Why The DNC 2020 Chose Milwaukee Over Houston and Miami

The Democratic National Convention will be held in the battleground state of Wisconsin instead of Florida or the now-shading-purple Texas.

The DNC chose Milwaukee over Miami and Houston for its quadrennial presidential nomination because it believed the Midwest “values” were the best target in sight.

“Where you hold our convention is a very strong statement of your values and who and what we are fighting for,” Democrat National Committee Chairman Tom Perez said Monday. “The Democratic Party has again become an every ZIP code party. We’re listening to people in every corner of the country.”

The DNC, which plans to hold its presidential convention in a Midwestern city other than Chicago for the first time in more than a century. The convention will take place July 13-16, 2020. Meanwhile, Republicans are scheduled to hold their 2020 Convention from August 24-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is also a battleground state, as reported by The Associated Press.

The graphic below, provided by Statista, illustrates the locations of Democratic and Republican national conventions since 1920.

20190312_DNC_RNC_Locations_NW Locations of Democratic and Republican national conventions since 1920. Statista

“The Democratic Party is the party of working people, and Milwaukee is a city of working people,” Perez said. “I want to thank the leaders in Houston and Miami for all their hard work throughout this process. They both put forward competitive proposals that I’m sure will lead them to hosting future conventions.”

“The path to the presidency goes right through Wisconsin as we learned in 2016,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat. “In 2016, the industrial heartland was really the key and having this convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I think is a powerful statement that nobody should be taken for granted.”

Milwaukee is much smaller compared with the likes of Miami or Houston, two Democratic hubs that are also major ports along the southern coast of the United States.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner pitched Texas as a battleground state and Houston as a city ready to host a large-scale event. The city in recent years has hosted a Super Bowl, a World Series, a Final Four and other big events requiring multiple security entities working together. Also in the last 12 months, the city has worked with multiple security forces to oversee the funerals of both President George H.W. Bush and first lady Barbara Bush.

"Our bid brought together people from both major political parties, and from no particular party, to show that our welcoming city represents the demographic future of America—and has unmatched experience with putting on mega-events," Turner said through an email to media on Monday. "As Houston has proven many times with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, the Astros World Series Championship parade, the Super Bowl and the Final Four, the nation's most diverse and fourth most-populous city is an effective host to the world, relying on great people from the private, nonprofit, institutional and government sectors to unite and say 'howdy' in more than 100 languages."

The biggest chink in Houston’s armor may have come during a recent rift between Turner’s wage battle between the city and the Houston Fire Department.

Turner told his council last week he planned to lay off 400 firefighters for raises granted throughout the rest of the city in Proposition B, according to the Houston Chronicle. Though voters approved a raise for the city’s firefighters, the mayor has turned off the relief, sending many into furlough while directing city funds elsewhere.

The Miami contingent had a full-fledged tour of South Florida in store, including parties at the zoo, beautiful bay views at night, accommodations aboard docked cruise ships, speeches at the newest arenas and a melting pot of menu options.

“The point is, we are not like any other state because here the slightest advantage, or the most trifling headwind, is a game-changer,” Florida Democratic strategist Christian Ulvert wrote to Perez. “And if Florida is ground zero for presidential elections — Miami-Dade is clearly ground zero for Florida.”

Miami is still looking for its first major political convention since 1972, when it held conventions for both both parties, according to the Miami Herald.

“Protests outside the Republican convention that year led the city’s mayor to swear that Miami Beach would never again host a political convention,” The Herald reported.

This article was updated to include an infographic.

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