CLEVELAND – As Ohio goes, so does the presidential race, Clearly, the GOP realized that in awarding Cleveland the 2016 Republican National Convention
In a shocking upset of the traditionally-more Republican Dallas, the GOP sees that having it’s presidential convention in the Buckeye State, and in a traditionally Democratic Rust Belt city of Cleveland, as two-fold, secure Ohio and ultimately secure the White House.
With the RNC awarding Cleveland their national convention, it is clear that the GOP is going all in on Ohio.
While some Republicans may be proverbially scratching their heads at the selection of the city most known and ridiculed as the “Mistake by The Lake”—minus the burning river—Republicans hope that with the suddenly hot Cleveland mojo, will rub off on them and ultimately propel hopefuls such as Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Jeb Bush, Rick Perry and Sarah Palin to a new address of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
And Cleveland happens to be in the ultimate swing state and microcosm of the United States—Ohio.
While other states have various characteristics that define them, what makes Ohio such a coveted prize in national elections is the number 18—as in electoral votes.
With a diverse population of 11.5 million, Ohio has all the major components of America in shipping, manufacturing, agriculture, urban and rural living and most importantly—a wide range of people ranging from soccer moms, Reagan Democrats, rich, poor and middle class suburbanites.
While Cleveland sits in the traditionally blue Cuyahoga County in Northeastern Ohio, along with other traditional Democratic strongholds such as Toledo, Akron and Youngstown, the proverbial political dividing line in the Buckeye State turns from blue to Republican red once you reach the state capital of Columbus and long-time Republican cities such as Cincinnati, Dayton and the more rural areas of central and southern Ohio.
Clearly, this fact was not lost on Republican strategists after seeing Mitt Romney’s $150 million dollar RNC-funded ad campaign lose by a slim margin in the greater Cleveland area.
Another reason that led to the RNC zeroing in on Cleveland—history.
With the exception of John F. Kennedy, a Democrat, in 1960, no incumbent or challenger has ever won the Presidency without winning Ohio, and no Republican has won without carrying the Buckeye State since Abraham Lincoln in 1860, as Ohio has correctly severed as a bellwether of the last 11 presidential elections.
Thanks to Barack Obama’s masterful ground game in the last two elections, it seems the RNC decided to think outside-the-box and bypass the much more comfortable surroundings of GOP-friendly cities such as Dallas, Phoenix and Kansas City.
Cleveland may not be the glamour choice that many Republican’s were expecting, but in a state such as Ohio that they desperately need to carry, they will ultimately come around to seeing the RNC’s pick of the once down-trodden Cleveland that is in the throes of a $4.5 billion redevelopment, as a shrewd move down the road.
After welcoming Hollywood blockbusters such as The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Solider, Draft Day, landing Johnny Manziel and possibly bringing one-time favorite son, LeBron James back home, landing the 2016 GOP convention could prove to be the ultimate $200 million-plus boon for Cleveland, and for the GOP a chance to show why Ohio is truly the heart of it all.
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