St. Louis Skips Bid for 2020 Democratic National Convention

Michael Calhoun
May 10, 2018 - 12:36 am
Blue Balloons, Democratic National Convention

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- It doesn't look like there'll be any presidential candidates crowned in our town this next election cycle.

You'll recall St. Louis was likely runner-up to host the Democratic National Convention in 2012. This year, St. Louis isn't on the party's short list at all because area leaders didn't try for it.

DNC at large member Brian Wahby organized that 2012 sales pitch and says these conventions are getting more expensive.

"The price tag is pretty substantial. We're talking tens of millions of dollars that would've had to been raised at the local level," he says.

That's in part, he says, because the federal government doesn't use money from the "Presidential Campaign Fund" (where you check-off on your taxes) to help pay for the conventions anymore.

"Honestly, folks I talked to felt like it would an insurmountable number," he explained, "and if you're going to raise that amount of money, there's probably a better use for it."

KMOX News asked Wahby which is the most important factor: the politics of a prospective site or the logistics of throwing such a big event?

"Whether or not there's a political advantage from having a convention in a state is subject to interpretation and opinion," although he says Democrats estimated a half-percentage point bump for Barack Obama in Colorado after holding his convention in Denver.

That did not hold true for the 2012 DNC in Charlotte. Obama lost North Carolina that year.

Finalists for the 2020 Democratic convention site are Atlanta, Denver, Houston, New York, San Francisco, Milwaukee, Miami Beach and Birmingham.

Republicans, meantime, are reportedly looking at Charlotte and Las Vegas.

The President and staff usually make the call on where their party will meet, so the White House this time will likely decide where Republicans go.

As for the DNC, what about St. Louis in 2024?

"I'm up for it!" Wahby says.