'Trump is almost certainly a factor in some cities’ decisions to opt out.'
Thanks, but no thanks.
That’s what major metropolitan areas across the country are telling the Republican Party as it tries to line up a host city for its next convention.
Republicans appear to be struggling to find a city that will welcome Trump in 2020.
“Cities across the country are turning down the opportunity to host the 2020 Republican National Convention, where President Trump is expected to be nominated for a second term,” The Hill reports.
To date, only one city, Charlotte, N.C., is publicly pursuing the deal.
San Antonio recently pulled out of the process, with the city council voting against making any bid. Las Vegas city officials have also declined to endorse any convention plans.
After initially signaling some interest, Nashville and Philadelphia also abandoned the GOP convention process.
By contrast, the Democratic Party has sent out requests for 2020 convention proposals to eight cities: Atlanta, Birmingham, Denver, Houston, Miami Beach, Milwaukee, New York and San Francisco. But, unlike with the GOP, none have publicly voted offers down.
Traditionally, national political conventions have been seen as public relations plumbs for cities, as the nationally televised, dayslong events thrust the cities into the spotlight and journalists from around the world converge for the news event.
It’s true the events also require extraordinary security and hosts cities have to raise a lot of money. (Cleveland spent $60 million hosting the GOP’s 2012 convention.) But that doesn’t seem to be why cities are giving the GOP the cold shoulder. “Trump is almost certainly a factor in some cities’ decisions to opt out,” according to The Hill.
“Their leaders do not want to suffer blowback with their residents for hosting Trump,” notes Evan Siegfried, a New York-based Republican strategist.
The stiff-arming comes as the Republican Party has lost nearly all connection with major American cities, which are now widely seen as Democratic bastions coast to coast.
In fact, some Republicans this campaign year are actively running against U.S. cities, holding them up as dens of crime.
During the West Virginia Republican primary contest this year, Rep. Evan Jenkins ran an ad proclaiming, “The big cities [Hillary Clinton] won are the places flooding our state with heroin — where lawlessness, looting and liberalism rule.”
Meanwhile, as the massive 2017, Women’s March on Washington, as well this year’s March for Our Lives indicated, Trump critics are anxious to take to the streets. And it’s likely the protesting forces at the 2020 convention will be unusually larger.
On the flip side, it’s possible the convention will also attract large, and dangerous, groups of Trump supporters, as he continues to court extremists and white nationalists to his cause.
A study of the 2016 campaign found that cities experienced an increase in assaults on days when they hosted a Trump rally.
It seems most cities today just don’t want to battle that burden, especially when it’s for a politically party that openly despises urban centers.