The Republican National Convention is a quadrennial affair organized by the Republican National Committee. The Convention has two principal objectives:
To officially nominate the Republican candidates for president and vice president
To adopt the Republican Party’s political platform
These conventions, which are attended by elected officials, delegates and activists from almost every corner of the country, also provide an opportunity for the party leadership to disseminate information on its election strategy. In addition, the convention offers an unrivaled networking platform for the participants.
At its infancy, the conventions are directly responsible for electing the party’s presidential and vice-presidential nominee. However, the introduction of the modern state-level primaries and caucuses has somewhat diluted the clout of conventions, and instead, turned them into a four-day media event – albeit one that offers a powerful post-convention ‘bounce’ for the nominees.
The RNC has announced that Cleveland, Ohio will host the 2016 Republican National Convention. The recommendation to select 'Cleveland 2016' was made following a final review by the Republicans' site selection committee on July 8, 2014. A final vote of approval by the full Republican National Committee is expected to take place at the RNC summer meeting slated for August 8, 2014 in Chicago.
The RNC did not set specific 2016 convention dates, but June 27-30 or July 18-21 are the two options under consideration. The RNC is aiming for a convention date earlier than in recent elections, allowing the formal nominee to draw upon campaign cash designated to be spent only in the general election.
The June convention date, however, may pose a potential conflict with the 2016 NBA schedule should the Cleveland Cavaliers make it through to the basketball playoffs, a possibility made greater following the announcement that LeBron James will be returning to the Cleveland team. NBA finals are played well into June and political convention preparations may take up to six weeks, putting the June convention date in peril.
The Republicans and Cleveland 2016 officials must settle on a date before the August 8th meeting and final RNC approval. The August 5-21, 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro is another event which will certainly affect convention scheduling for all political party conventions.
Ohio has been a battleground swing-state throughout United States campaigning history. The last candidate to win the presidential election without Ohio was Democrat John F. Kennedy in 1960. The last Republican presidential candidate to win the election without Ohio was Abraham Lincoln, 100 years earlier, in 1860. Cleveland last hosted the Republican National Convention in 1936.
The main 2016 Republican National Convention venue will be the Quicken Loans Arena. This main convention center is located in downtown Cleveland, and referred to locally as "The Q". The multipurpose arena seats 20,500, and includes 2,000 club seats and 88 luxury suites. It is home to three professional sports teams and hosts numerous entertainment events. Other supporting venues within walking distance of 2016 RNC main venue include the Cleveland Convention Center and the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel.
On June 25, 2014, the Republican National Committee announced that the cities of Cleveland and Dallas will continue to the final round of consideration to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. Cleveland and Dallas were chosen from a list of finalists announced by the RNC on February 27, 2014. Other cities that were considered to host the 2016 Republican National Convention include Cincinnati, Columbus, Denver, Kansas City, Las Vegas and Phoenix. Columbus and Phoenix were eliminated on April 2, 2014. Cincinnati and Las Vegas withdrew on May 22, 2014. Denver and Kansas City were eliminated on June 25, 2014.