Democrats Pick Milwaukee For 2020 Convention

For their 2020 convention, Democrats are headed to the Midwest.

Democrats will hold their 2020 convention in Milwaukee in what is arguably an effort to reach out to Midwestern voters they neglected in 2016:

The Democratic National Committee has selected Milwaukee, Wisconsin, as the location for its 2020 presidential convention, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Milwaukee beat out Miami, which had mounted an unsuccessful final lobbying blitz to be the host city.

In recent weeks, top Midwestern Democrats and business leaders engaged in a frenzied effort to bring the convention to their reguin, insisting that holding it in Wisconsin would help repair the frayed relationship between the party and heartland voters. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and even Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker were involved in the behind-the-scenes overtures to the DNC.

In August, a coalition of Midwestern senators from Minnesota to Indiana to Ohio signed on to a letter to the DNC calling for a Milwaukee selection.

“Democrats have not held a convention in the Midwest since 1996, and a Milwaukee convention would send a strong message to the nation that winning America’s heartland is a priority in the 2020 election cycle and beyond,” the group of senators wrote. “Wisconsin is a state with a deep progressive and Democratic history. It is an ideal place for our party to showcase our values, priorities and agenda in our commitment to fight for everyday Americans.”

This announcement comes nearly a year after the DNC had announced that it was scheduling the convention for mid-July, which is actually earlier than anticipated and earlier than they have held their convention in quite some time. At the time, it seemed clear that one of the reasons for the decision to hold the convention at an earlier time was to avoid a conflict with the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, which will take place in August, and to give whoever the nominee might be an opportunity to begin spending General Election money early since Federal Election Commission regulations prohibit spending money designated for the General Election until after the nominee’s political party has chosen a nominee. At that time, the DNC was still in the process of accepting host city bids from the eight cities that had been selected as finalists, which included: Atlanta; Birmingham, Alabama; Denver; Houston; Miami Beach; Milwaukee; New York; and San Francisco. Republicans, meanwhile, announced last summer that their convention, which is scheduled to take place more than a month after the Democratic National Convention, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

While it’s debatable just how much picking a particular location for party convention has on the General Election, it seems unlikely that the DNC made this choice without taking politics and the General Election into account. It was, after all, Midwestern states such as Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania going for President Trump that ended up costing Hillary Clinton what should have been at least a narrow Electoral College victory to go along with her majority in the popular vote. While picking Milwaukee as the location for convention won’t guarantee victory in this states, it will arguably stand as a signal that, this time, Democrats aren’t going to effectively ignore the Midwest in the final weeks of the campaign the way the Clinton campaign did. I’m not sure how much that will help, but it can’t hurt.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    All over America sex workers are thinking, “Aw, jeez: Milwaukee?”

  2. Well they had to go to Cleveland and Philadelphia in 2016 so……

  3. Teve says:

    Accidentally downvoted that Doug, mibad.

  4. Franklin says:

    Shlemiel, schlemazel, hasenpfeffer incorporated …

    /sorry, that’s all I’ve got

  5. Not the IT Dept. says:

    And a big up your’s to Paul Ryan and Scott Walker.

  6. Teve says:

    Republicans, meanwhile, announced last summer that their convention, which is scheduled to take place more than a month after the Democratic National Convention, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    I lived in North Carolina for 10 years. Charlotte in August is going to suck donkey balls. I’d much rather be in Wisconsin.

  7. grumpy realist says:

    Lotsa craft beer available. And good weather.

  8. Mister Bluster says:

    Charlotte in August is going to suck donkey balls.

    Pud can invite his loverboy Kim Jong Un to give the keynote address and teach the Republicans how to “sit up straight at attention” like the free people of North Korea.

  9. Test e says:

    It would be fun to force the conservatives to rank all the Democratic candidates by liberalism, because you know they’re just going to wait until there’s a nominee and then declare that person the most liberal communist nominee in the history of the planet. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  10. Teve says:

    IDK why the name field malfunctions so much but it’s partly the AdBlock browser I’m using.

  11. Paine says:

    Geez… even Dems are adopting this “heartland” nonsense. I’ve been all over this country and can confirm that no part of America is better or more heartland-er than another.

  12. Pylon says:


    Are they adopting it or co-opting it? There’s nothing wrong with making a political choice in politics.

  13. Mister Bluster says: part of America is better or more heartland-er than another.

    I spent 35 years in the landline telephone industry working in 14 states and at least 300+ cities and villages like Houston, Texas and Clarence, Missouri (pop. 763).
    It didn’t take long to learn that when I was in Frogtown all the people living there were the best looking and the kids were the smartest. It was the people in Leechville, the next town down the road, where all the High School Cheerleaders were whores and the kids all had square heads because their parents were cousins.
    Of course the nature of my job would almost always take me to Leechville where the denizens would brag about their intelligent, handsome children who always beat the Frogtown High School football team because it was in Frogtown where they were all a bunch of inbreeds and the cheerleaders were sluts.
    America the beautiful!

  14. Joe says:

    @Mister Bluster: I would have guessed Southwestern Bell, but the town names suggest the old GTE properties.

  15. Kathy says:

    Republicans, meanwhile, announced last summer that their convention, which is scheduled to take place more than a month after the Democratic National Convention, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    That’s where and when the Republicans think they’ll have their convention. Chances are Dennison will complain and demand they change it. If the Democratic nominee enjoys a really big convention bounce, he’ll never stop complaining about the idiots who scheduled his convention later and not in Milwaukee.

    I assume convention space at Pyongyang, is any, must be dirt cheap. And the South Koreans will pay for it!

  16. @Kathy:

    The Democratic convention is five weeks before the GOP convention. It will be too late to change the location at that point.

  17. @Kathy:

    Also, by custom the incumbent party always holds its convention second.

  18. Kathy says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Do you think any of that will keep Trump from complaining and/or demanding a change? Especially if he was consulted and okayed it to begin with?

  19. Mister Bluster says:

    @Joe:..SWBT, GTE

    Of the 35 years (1973-2009) that I beat up and down the highways of this Fruited Plain plying my trade, only the last 6 years were as an employee of what became known in the industry as an Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC).
    I spent most of my time as a contract telephone cable splicer or I+R tech. I would use my own truck and tools working for companies like Henkels and McCoy, Volt and several other smaller outfits that provided construction and maintenance services to phone companies. General Telephone, Continental Telephone (Clarence MO) before it was bought by GTE in 1991 (?), Central Telephone Company, United Telephone Company, Century Telephone, Illinois Consolidated Telephone Company, Citizens Communications (later Frontier) are exchanges that I remember working. There may have been others.
    SWBT in Houston called in contractors to work storm damage after Hurricane Alicia in September 1983 since this was right at the time the Bell System was being divested and they did not have access to help from the other former Bell System companies that were no longer owned by AT+T that basically did not exist anymore.
    US West formerly Northwestern Bell in Iowa also called in contractors after the Mississippi River flooded in 1995.
    Frogtown and Leechville are pseudonyms for Pana and Nokomis, Illinois (ICTC exchanges) that are not all that far apart on Illinois State Route 16.

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    “And the South Koreans will pay for it!”

    DO NOT be giving the South Koreans any ideas! For this trick to work, Trump has to stay in office to the end of his term. Any change will simply result in a bunch of people who are disgusted with Trump flooding back to the GOP because the racism, misogyny, and greed have been sanitized. The danger that it will happen anyway when Cruz runs in 2024 is too great now; we can’t risk an early transition.

  21. RoadRunner says:

    Well I guess I know what week I’m taking off next year.