Minneapolis shortlisted for 2012 Democratic National Convention

Welcome to the convention!
Welcome to the convention!

The Twin Cities could end up hosting national political conventions in back-to-back presidential elections.

The Democratic National Committee announced today that it is considering Minneapolis, Cleveland, Charlotte and St. Louis for their 2012 national convention, to be held the week of Sept. 3.

Minneapolis's bid was put together by Meet Minneapolis, the city's convention and visitor association, with Mayor R.T. Rybak's support.

David Schultz, a professor of political science at Hamline, says he doubts Minneapolis will get the nod.

"There's a perception that where you put the convention can influence the way a state or a region votes," he said. "There's not necessarily any evidence for that, but the fact that Minnesota will almost certainly vote Democratic in the presidential election means its more likely that one of the other cities will be chosen."

Missouri went Republican in 2008, but only barely, so holding the convention in St. Louis would mark an aggressive play for expanding Democratic gains. Ohio and North Carolina went blue in 2008, but are hardly sure things going forward. Schultz expects that Democrats will pick one of them in hopes of consolidate the Democratic gains of the last cycle.

The Democratic National Committee isn't giving its strategy away. A spokesman there would say only that logistical and security considerations are the most important part of the selection process. Over the coming months, the committee will be sending security consultants out to the four cities to evaluate whether they're really capable of hosting something as complicated and demanding as a national political convention. The final decision is expected sometime this fall.

Republicans have already selected Tampa, Fla., as their 2012 convention headquarters.

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