No decision is taken lightly in the race for President of the United States of America and deciding where to hold each party’s national convention is no exception.
Candidates hope they will gain the support, and more importantly the votes, of those in the states that host their national convention.
This year the Republican Party held its convention in Florida, a state that presidential candidate Mitt Romney wants to swing his way, while the Democratic Party held its convention in North Carolina, which incumbent Barack Obama hopes to hold on to in November.
Still, some suggest that the presence of a convention will not persuade the state’s voters to choose that party’s candidate on election day. So does a party’s convention location selection affect the votes in the city where its held?
Use the drop-down menu to check out election data from the 12 most recent convention cities. While it remains to be seen whether voters in Charlotte and Tampa are affected by hosting a convention, check out past hosts on the drop-down menu below and see if you can make a prediction.
But first, some trends we noticed are:
The past five Democratic National Convention host cities have seen an increase in Democratic voters during the convention year compared to the election four years before. The smallest rise was a two percentage point increase in the party’s votes from New York where the convention was held in 1992. The biggest was in Chicago with a nine percentage point surge in 1996.
Since 1988, there has also been an increase in Democratic votes in cities that hosted the party’s convention during the election cycle four years prior.
Voting in Republican National Convention host cities varies with less correlation between the location and how many of the city’s voters chose the party’s candidate.
Houston saw a 14 percentage point decrease in Republican voters in 1992, the year it hosted the convention. When the RNC was in San Diego in 1996, votes for the party increased ten percent.
Other conventions from 1988 to 2008 fall between the extremes of Houston and San Diego. Votes for Republicans slid in host cities New Orleans in 1988 and Minneapolis-St. Paul in 2008, while Philadelphia, in 2000, and New York, in 2004, saw a jump in the party’s votes.
Check out these trends using the drop-down menu below to select a convention city and year. If you’re on a mobile device, tap on each of the bars to see the exact results of each election.