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Minneapolis a finalist for 2012 Democratic convention

By Derek Wallbank | Wednesday, June 30, 2010 Four years after St. Paul hosted the Republicans, Minneapolis might host the Democrats for their national convention.

WASHINGTON — Four years after St. Paul hosted the Republicans, Minneapolis might host the Democrats.

Minneapolis was named a finalist for the 2012 Democratic National Convention late Wednesday, alongside Charlotte, Cleveland and St. Louis. Other cities that had considered bidding for the convention included Dallas, Philadelphia and Phoenix.

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine wrote in an e-mail to supporters that party officials would visit the bid cities “throughout this summer” before deciding where to host the convention, scheduled to start on Sept. 3, 2012.

Some of the decision making will surely be political, as conventional wisdom holds that putting a convention in a swing state increases the focus on said state. It doesn’t always work (Minnesota in 2008 is an obvious example), but that’s the idea. Sometimes, a la the GOP in New York in 2004, the convention ties into a specific message (in that case, national security) that the party wants to highlight.

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Consider the former, and Minnesota’s case looks relatively weak. President Obama carried Minnesota, Ohio and North Carolina in 2008. He just barely lost Missouri. Of the four states, Minnesota currently has the fewest electoral votes (10), while Ohio (20) has the most. And Minnesota, while having a history of electing Republicans at most levels, has gone blue in more consecutive elections than any other state.

The GOP is following that mold, holding their 2012 convention in Tampa (Florida).

Consider the latter, however, and Minneapolis looks quite good. Minnesota’s unemployment rate is well below the national average, we have a thriving tech center and you already know how much President Obama loves citing the Mayo Clinic when pumping his health care plan.

Two sides of the same coin, I guess, and we’ll see how it flips in the fall.