DNC Picks a Home for 2024

Chicago beats out Atlanta in something of a surprise
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 11, 2023 10:45 AM CDT
DNC Picks a Home for 2024
The Chicago skyline is seen along the Chicago River on Nov. 28 in Chicago. Democrats have chosen Chicago to host their 2024 national convention.   (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)

Democrats have chosen Chicago to host their 2024 national convention, reports the AP, trying to keep the party's momentum going after last fall's midterm success in the critical Midwest. The decision, confirmed by a Democratic official who spoke on Tuesday on the condition of anonymity before an official announcement, comes after President Biden chose Chicago over finalists that also included Atlanta and New York. Chicago is solidly Democratic, as is Illinois. But holding the party's presidential nominating gathering in such a pro-union city again demonstrates Biden's commitment to organized labor—which will be critical to his bid to win a second term in the White House. The move also could counter Republicans, who last summer decided to hold their 2024 convention in Milwaukee in another critical Midwestern battleground state, Wisconsin.

The 2020 Democratic convention was supposed to be held in Milwaukee but unfolded virtually because of the pandemic. Biden delivered a speech accepting his party's nomination that year at a nearly empty convention center in Wilmington, Delaware. Milwaukee, however, used its 2020 convention preparations to argue to Republicans that it had a "turnkey" operation ready for next year. Chicago hosted the infamous 1968 Democratic convention that's best remembered for a brutal clash between police and protesters opposing the Vietnam War. The last Democratic National Convention in the city was in 1996, when then-President Clinton won a second term.

That Chicago beat out Atlanta was nonetheless a surprise given Georgia's strategic importance as a swing state. Biden won Georgia two years ago, becoming the first Democrat to do so in a presidential election since Clinton in 1992, and his party now controls both of its Senate seats. Though Atlanta is as thoroughly Democratic as Chicago and New York, Georgia could very well be a major deciding factor in the 2024 presidential race. But shunning Atlanta for the convention could serve as a double blow to Georgia, which may also lose its early place in a new Democratic primary calendar. Biden endorsed moving Georgia to the No. 4 position in a revamped 2024 calendar—changes meant to better empower the party's deeply diverse voter base.

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Under a new primary order approved by the Democratic National Committee in March, Georgia would have gone after leadoff South Carolina, and following Nevada and New Hampshire, which were set to go second simultaneously. Georgia, though, could be stripped of the fourth spot since Republican state officials have refused to move to an earlier date that wouldn't coincide with the GOP's presidential primary next year. Securing the convention might have softened the blow of being forced out of the primary's early lineup—but wasn't to be. Biden is already focused on 2024's general election, rather than the primary, facing only token opposition from Democratic challengers Marianne Williamson, a spiritual adviser and author, and anti-vaccine activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

(More Democratic National Convention stories.)

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