Six cities have submitted bids to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the Democratic National Committee, which organizes the quadrennial event, said in a statement Saturday. The cities are Birmingham, Cleveland, Columbus, New York, Philadelphia and Phoenix.
Least surprising of the six contenders are Cleveland, Columbus -- both situated within the nation’s most pivotal swing state of Ohio -- and Philadelphia, whose home state is considered a presidential prize with its 20 electoral votes. Birmingham is situated in the Deep South, which has long been a Republican stronghold, and the Alabama city has a large African-American population. Blacks voted in higher numbers than non-Hispanic whites in 2012 for the first time since the U.S. Census Bureau started keeping track of the numbers.
New York City appears to be the outlier among the six, due to New York state's consistently blue voting record.
“Hosting a party convention is a true honor and we’re thrilled with all the fantastic options that we have going into the next cycle,” Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in the statement, adding, “We look forward to evaluating these bids and selecting a city to host this special gathering of Democrats.”
According to the statement, a committee will evaluate convention bids, and Wasserman will announce the final decision "in late 2014 or early 2015."
The 2012 Democratic National Convention took place in Charlotte, N.C. North Carolina was a closely contested state in the 2008 presidential election.