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DNC host city decision expected next week

Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 18:29:48-05

It's very likely we could know next week if Milwaukee will land the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Being the host city offers many economic benefits but what impact will it have on Wisconsin and the 2020 presidential election?

The news headlines suggest Milwaukee is the odds on favorite to win the 2020 Democratic Convention but no final decision has been made.

Miami Beach and Houston are the other two finalists.

"I think it would send a very clear message that Wisconsin matters and may in fact be the tipping point state for 2020 presidential election," said Democratic strategist Joe Zepecki with Zepecki Communications. He has worked for three presidential campaigns.

President Donald Trump turned Wisconsin red for the first time since 1984 and Democrats want it back in 2020.

"Donald Trump winning the state's electoral votes was a massive upset that basically no one saw it coming," said Zepecki. "Democrats know they can not afford to let that happen again if they want to get 270 electoral votes."

Republican strategist Mark Graul sees a Democratic convention in Milwaukee as a win-win.

"I think any time you have presidential politics focusing on our state that is a good thing regardless of party," said Graul, President of Arena Strategy Group in Green Bay.

He sees an opportunity for Wisconsin Republicans to contrast their record if all the national attention is on Democrats in Milwaukee for one week.

"Whether that be the congressional delegation or legislative leaders and others to talk about the way that Wisconsin Republicans have done things the last 8-10 years and how successful that has been," said Graul.

Being the host state doesn't always create a home field advantage. Democrats are 5-2 over the last seven election cycles but lost the last two states that held presidential conventions, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Republicans are 2-5 having only won in the host states of Ohio and Texas.

Both Graul and Zepecki agree hosting a convention does not equal winning in November.

"I feel very confident Wisconsin is going to be blue in 2020 ," said Zepecki. "Regardless if the convention is here or not."

"I just think the impact this is going to have in terms of determining the outcome for the race is minimal," said Graul.

The Democratic National Convention is scheduled for July 13-16 in 2020. The Republican National Convention is in North Carolina in August.