On Thursday, the Republican National Committee is expected to narrow the number of cities vying to host the 2016 Republican National Convention to a small group of finalists.
Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City and Las Vegas are all hoping to follow Tampa Florida which saw a $400-million economic boost back in 2012.
Why should Ohio's semi-finalists be considered the favorites?
Of the six remaining cities in the convention sweepstakes, Las Vegas reportedly has the inside track. And why not? Las Vegas has 150,000 plus hotel rooms, many within walking distance to the convention center. McCarran Airport is just three and a half miles away. Vegas has plenty of taxi cabs, shuttles and even a monorail to ferry visitors back and forth. Las Vegas is also home to billionaire conservative Sheldon Adelson who's given away more than $100-million of his own money to republican candidates and wants the convention in his home state.
So how can Cincinnati and Cleveland compete? For starters, no republican president has ever been elected to the White House without winning Ohio. The reason is electoral math. The winner receives 18 Electoral College votes compared to just 6 in Nevada. Then, consider the "bounce factor."
Other than Mitt Romney in 2012, every republican presidential candidate dating back to Barry Goldwater in 1964 has enjoyed a post-convention bounce in the polls. The Grand Ole Party needs all the help it can get in Ohio.
Take a look at a recent Quinnipiac University poll in which potential republican candidates are pitted against democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton. In every scenario, Clinton comes out on top in Ohio. Even when taking on heavy hitters Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie.
48 - 39 percent over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush;
47 - 40 percent over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida;
49 - 41 percent over U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky;
46 - 38 percent over N.J. Gov. Christopher Christie;
51 - 37 percent over U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas;
Another reason to choose Ohio over Nevada - RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tells FOX19 the GOP has overlooked Ohio's impact as a swing state in the past.
"One of the bad things about what we've done as a party is that we show up once every four years just before the election. I happen to think that's a losing strategy," says Priebus.
And then there's the letter reportedly written to Priebus and signed by several high-ranking members of the religious right who warn that selecting Las Vegas would cause friction within the party and that Sin City is "a trap waiting to ensnare."
The bottom line is this: Las Vegas offers all the amenities needed for a successful event and is home to a guy who can write really big checks, but history tells us Ohio is critical to the republican party making either Cincinnati or Cleveland the smarter choices to host 2016's GOP Convention.
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