Next year's Democratic presidential convention will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina:
Democrats will gather in Charlotte, N.C., in September to vote on their nomination for the presidential election. The pick signals that President Obama will seek to re-create -- at least in part -- his winning electoral coalition.
"Barack and I spent a lot of time in North Carolina during the campaign," wrote first lady Michelle Obama in an e-mail announcing the convention site. The Democratic National Convention will take place the week of Sept. 3, Michelle Obama announced.
It will be the first presidential-nominating convention to ever take place in North Carolina. Other finalists included St. Louis, Minneapolis and Cleveland.
A quick reminder: There isn't much of a relationship between a convention site and that state's eventual vote in the presidential election. After tallying several decades’ worth of conventions and elections, Michael Berry and Kenneth Bickers -- political scientists at the University of Colorado, Denver, and Boulder -- found “no evidence that hosting a national nominating convention has any discernible effect on the ultimate vote in that state." If there is a gain -- or loss -- it's best explained by the fundamentals in each state: the economy, partisan advantage, and presidential incumbency.
That said, I don't want to understate the importance this has for state and local political elites. By placing the convention in Charlotte, the Democratic Party is committing to fighting for North Carolina and its 15 electoral votes. Party elites and politicians in tight battles for re-election -- like Blue Dog Heath Shuler -- can expect more resources and public support from higher-profile Democrats. Still, whether or not Obama wins North Carolina remains dependent on the underlying conditions of the 2012 presidential election.
-- Jamelle Bouie
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