Aug 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

RNC zeroes in on Milwaukee for 2024 convention

Trump and family at 2016 RNC

Then-candidate Trump with his family at the 2016 RNC in Cleveland. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

The Republican National Convention is poised to take place in Milwaukee ahead of the 2024 presidential election, drawing GOP candidates, operatives and a flood of attention to a state that former President Trump lost just two years ago.

Why it matters: Republicans are laser-focused on flipping Wisconsin red after Joe Biden eked out a 20,000-vote victory in a key battleground state that had helped propel Trump to the presidency in 2016.

Driving the news: The RNC is expected to rubber-stamp Milwaukee as the official location on Aug. 5.

  • The only other serious contender was Nashville, a blue city in a reliably red state.
  • But the Music City was effectively removed from the mix on Tuesday when council members voted against a draft agreement to host the convention.
  • Milwaukee council members approved their draft agreement in June.

Between the lines: Milwaukee would be in the unusual position of hosting national conventions for rival parties in consecutive presidential elections.

  • The Democratic National Convention was held in Milwaukee last cycle, which also featured virtual sites around the country due to coronavirus restrictions.
  • Wisconsin is not just a bellwether for the presidency; GOP Sen. Ron Johnson is in a competitive re-election race against Democratic Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes.

What they're saying: In July, the RNC's Site Selection Committee recommended Milwaukee over Nashville to host the 2024 convention.

  • "It is a testament to the forthright and professional behavior embraced by Milwaukee’s city leaders throughout the process," RNC senior adviser Richard Walters said in a statement at the time.
Go deeper