Will Charlotte host the GOP in 2016?

The Charlotte Observer noted this week that the Republican Party may be looking at holding the Republican National Convention in Charlotte in 2016, which would be just four short years after Democrats held their convention there in 2012. The Republican National Committee was in Charlotte this week for its winter meeting, and I guess they were as impressed with the city as Democrats.

An opposing political party hosting their convention in the same city four years later is not unprecedented, but it is extremely rare. The last time it happened was in 1968 and 1972. Republicans held their 1968 convention in Miami and Democrats nominated George McGovern in the same city in 1972. And odd as it may seem now, Republicans also held their 1972 convention in Miami again, marking the last time both parties would host their convention in the same city in the same year.

Prior to 1972, the last time both parties held their conventions in the same place was 1952 in Chicago. The Windy City must have impressed everyone because the Democrats came back in 1956 and the Republicans came back in 1960. In fact, Chicago is overwhelmingly the favorite city for both parties’ conventions, hosting a total of 24 since 1864, including five conventions in a row for Republicans between 1904 and 1920.

There is little evidence that the convention site has any impact on electoral outcomes, so there’s no real reason why the Republicans shouldn’t consider Charlotte for 2016. By most accounts it appears that the Queen City acquitted itself very well during the 2012 Democratic National Convention and it might make some sense to keep it in the Republicans’ home base in the South after holding it in Tampa last year.

At any rate, who the Republicans nominate in 2016 will be much more interesting than which city he or she officially accepts the nomination in. I do think the Republicans will hold their convention somewhere in the South though, and my wild guess for the Democrats’ 2016 host city? Austin, Texas.

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