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GOP picks Cleveland to host 2016 convention

The Republican National Committee has selected Cleveland as the site for its 2016 convention.
A person stands in balloons during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.
A person stands in balloons during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

The Republican National Committee selected Cleveland Tuesday as the site for its 2016 convention.

Cleveland, located in the crucial swing state of Ohio, beat out Dallas as the host city for the GOP’s presidential nominating event.

If Republicans are hoping that holding their convention in Cleveland, traditionally a Democratic-leaning city, will give than an edge in the state in 2016, they may be disappointed. Mark Murray of NBC News reported that the GOP has lost every state in which the party has hosted its convention since 1996. Meanwhile, Democrats won the state where they held their convention from 1992 to 2008.

President Obama edged out GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney to win the Buckeye State in 2012. Obama also bested John McCain in 2008 in the state.

But Republicans look set to make a strong play for the pivotal state, with its 18 electoral votes, next time. Two Ohio Republicans, Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rob Portman, are frequently mentioned as potential presidential or vice-presidential nominees.

Meanwhile, state Republicans have implemented a host of voting restrictions that are likely to make it harder for Democratic-leaning groups, especially racial minorities, to cast a ballot. Those changes are the subject of a federal lawsuit.

They'll also get a boost if Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted, who was behind some of those restrictions, remains in office as the state's top elections official. Husted is being challenged this fall by state Sen. Nina Turner, a Democrat. In 2004, when President George W. Bush narrowly won Ohio and with it the election, Secretary of State Ken Blackwell, a Republican, played a key role by doing little in advance to prevent massive lines at the polls, Democratic areas.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote Tuesday that Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, a Democrat who is challenging Kasich this fall, "deserves far more credit than any elected official" for decision to bring the GOP confab to Cleveland. FitzGerald was an early backer of the effort, as well as a push to lure the Democratic convention to the city. The Democrats haven't yet made a decision about where their convention will take place.