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Tampa, Florida to Host 2012 Republican National Convention

The Republican National Committee today announced its host city for the 2012 Republican National Convention: Tampa, Florida.

The convention is scheduled for the week of August 27th, 2012. Tampa beat out two other finalists, Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

Florida, which boasts 27 electoral votes, is a key swing state that Republicans hope will help their presidential nominee defeat President Obama in his campaign for a second term.

Mr. Obama won the state in the 2008 election.

"We are honored and privileged to accept the bid from Tampa, Florida to host the Republican National Convention in 2012," said RNC Chairman Michael Steele in a news release, lauding the city's facilities and a "clear enthusiasm from the community to host our convention."

According to the release, the RNC's site selection committee "looked at a several factors including the number and proximity of hotels, capacity of the arena to hold the convention, transportation, security, media work space, convention office space, and the ability to finance the operation."

The decision to hold the conference in Florida means that voters in the state will be awash in coverage of the GOP and its nominee at a crucial time in the 2012 campaign cycle.

Phoenix's bid for the conference may have been hampered by the passage of a controversial immigration law that has generated nationwide protests. Salt Lake City, meanwhile, sits in solidly Republican Utah, and a convention there would have been less likely to swing electoral votes in the state.

The RNC still must formally approve the recommendation at its August meeting in Kansas City, Missouri, though that is essentially a formality.

In 2008, Republicans held their convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul in hopes of putting Minnesota into the red column. The state's voters ultimately sent their electoral votes to Mr. Obama.

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