No Republican has won the White House without also winning Ohio, and Ohio has voted the way the nation has since the 1960s.
The Republican National Committee today announced its choice of Cleveland over Dallas, the final two sites surviving a nationwide search that eliminated Las Vegas and others.
“It was a business decision,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said today on Fox News. “As goes Ohio, so goes the presidential race.”
The dates of the convention have not been decided yet — June 28 and July 18 are under discussion.
“By moving it sooner, you actually compress the primary calendar,” Priebus said.
Cleveland also is among the finalists competing for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, as is the Ohio capital of Columbus. This holds out the possibility of both major parties holding their conventions in the same city, or at least the same state — a pivotal one in presidential elections.
The others under consideration by the Democrats: New York (Brooklyn specifically), Philadelphia, Phoenix and Birmingham.
The courting of a state for its electoral votes with the prize of an economy-boosting and energy-driving convention is no guarantee of success. The Republicans nominated Mitt Romney in Tampa, Florida, in 2012. President Barack Obama was nominated for reelection in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Each nominee lost the convention state in November.
Obama, however, was first nominated for president in Denver, Colorado, and carried the state in 2008. Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona was nominated for president in St. Paul, Minnesota, and lost that state.
The event, nonetheless, is good for local business.
“This is great news for Cleveland and our entire state,” Senator Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, said of the party’s decision in a statement today. “It’s a unique opportunity to showcase the new Cleveland as one of America’s great cities, and to bring dollars and jobs to Ohio.”