Have you already picked your 2020 White House candidate? Plan to run for a delegate spot? You’ll be heading to Wisconsin.
Incredibly, this will be the first time the Democrats have chosen a midwest convention host city that isn’t Chicago since 1916. DNC announced today Milwaukee, Wisconsin will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention July 13-16, 2020.
The announcement is a long time coming. The Republicans announced their choice – Charlotte, where the Dems convened in 2012 – almost 8 months ago. By tradition, the party holding the White House goes second; their convention is August 24-27, 2020. Perez made his final tour of the 2020 Dem finalist cities – Milwaukee, Miami & Houston – almost 3 months ago.
Parties often choose host cities in swing states or for symbolic significance. Philly, which hosted the 2016 convention that elected Hillary Clinton, is the left-leaning biggest city in swing-state Pennsylvania. Hillary, who won ** the 2016 Dem primary, badly needed PA to win the general, as well as swing-states Michigan and Wisconsin. She lost all three. The Dems heading back to Wisconsin for what may be a Trump rematch (though not with Hillary) feels very deliberate.
Milwaukee has never hosted any convention the size this convention will be. And logistical issues may have been the cause of DNC’s long delay finalizing this choice. The city only has 18,000 hotel rooms (compare to Houston’s 91,000 & Miami’s 51,000). With each delegation housing together in the same hotel, plus back up hotels for non-delegates, plus accommodations for staff, plus press, getting around Milwaukee may be a challenge for delegates.
But Wisconsin finally dumped union-busting GOP Gov. Scott Walker in 2018 (not before he did massive damage). And state party chair Martha Laning wants to show Dems’ determination to reclaim the working class across the old industrial upper Midwest. That feels right. But I hope they mean it.
** Yeah, there will always be an asterisk on that