Republicans are to announce Friday whether the 2024 national convention, where the party’s presidential nominee will be officially named, will be held in Milwaukee or Nashville.
Milwaukee, in swing state Wisconsin, is the odds-on favorite to get the event given Nashville’s refusal to adopt an agreement for hosting the convention. There has been broad bipartisan support for holding the event in Milwaukee, which was selected to host the 2020 Democratic convention that had to be moved online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The city used its preparations for that convention to argue to Republicans that it had a “turnkey” operation ready to host in 2024. Milwaukee was the pick of the RNC’s site selection committee in July.
The Republican National Committee is to announce its decision on the final day of its summer meeting in Chicago.
Nashville’s bid hit a roadblock after Mayor John Cooper and others expressed concerns about security, the economic trade-off of having to mostly shut down the bustling downtown except for convention activity as well as the implications of tying up city resources for the event.
The Nashville common council on Tuesday rejected a draft agreement for hosting the convention, which seemed to end the city’s chances.
It was a different story in Milwaukee, where leaders in the Democratic stronghold joined together with Republican power brokers, including former RNC Chairman Reince Priebus, to make the pitch for hosting the convention. Priebus, a former White House chief of staff under former President Donald Trump and Wisconsin state GOP chairman, leads the local committee for the convention.
Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in 2016, but lost to President Joe Biden by a nearly identical margin in 2020.
Wisconsin could determine who wins in 2024, while Tennessee has not backed a Democrat for president since 1996. But choosing Milwaukee is in line with recent Republican choices for the convention. For two decades, Republicans have placed their nominating convention in swing states — North Carolina, Ohio and Florida.