CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Downtown Pittsburgh skyline
Pennsylvania has long been an important swing state in presidential elections. In 2016, the Keystone State narrowly backed Donald Trump, and in 2020, it narrowly backed Joe Biden. Each victory was key to both men entering the White House.
With that in mind, Republican officials are eyeing Pennsylvania’s second largest city as a host for the next Republican National Convention. Pittsburgh is in the running to host the RNC in 2024, according to a report in Politico
The other host cities in the running are Nashville, Salt Lake City, and Milwaukee. Two of the possible cities are in solidly red states — Tennessee and Utah — while Pittsburgh and Milwaukee are in swing states — Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Allegheny County, home to Pittsburgh, supported Democratic President Joe Biden by historic margins in 2020. Biden received just under 60% of the county’s vote, receiving a higher share of the presidential vote in Allegheny County than any Democrat since 1964. The only Democratic presidential candidates to perform better than Biden in history are Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 and Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936. Republicans could be looking at coming to Pittsburgh to provide a Republican boost locally, which could be integral in winning Pennsylvania and reclaiming the White House.
Pittsburgh has never hosted a Republican National Convention. The last time Pennsylvania hosted the RNC was in 2000 when it was held in Philadelphia. Pittsburgh also has never hosted a Democratic National Convention.
Both major party's political conventions in 2020 were held mostly remotely due to the pandemic. In 2020, the DNC was planned for Milwaukee and the RNC was planned for Charlotte.
According to Politico, finalists for RNC host cities were considered based on things like their hotel capacity, facilities, corporate sponsorship, and a city’s ability to support large-scale security measures.
“The Republican National Committee is grateful for and appreciative of the overwhelming interest from cities across the country to host the 2024 Republican National Convention,” RNC chief of staff Richard Walters told Politico
. “We’ll continue the process, review bids, and communicate with potential hosts to hear more about what their cities have to offer.”