Dems pick Charlotte for 2012 convention

February 1, 2011 4:19:35 PM PST
The Democratic National Committee says the Democratic Party will hold its 2012 presidential convention in Charlotte.

The DNC’s website also carried a message from First Lady Michelle Obama to supporters.

"Charlotte is a city marked by its southern charm, warm hospitality, and an 'up by the bootstraps' mentality that has propelled the city forward as one of the fastest-growing in the South. Vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity, the Queen City is home to innovative, hardworking folks with big hearts and open minds. And of course, great barbecue," she said.

Click here to read the entire message

On Charlotte landing the event, Governor Beverly Perdue said, "Today’s decision is fantastic news for North Carolina regardless of your political party. A national political convention is a keystone event that will boost North Carolina’s economy, while showcasing Charlotte and our state to the nation and the world."

Charlotte beat out three other finalists for the event in St. Louis, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Cleveland.

"Thanks to the hard work and support of so many throughout our community, we have an unmatched opportunity to show the world what a beautiful, energetic, innovative and diverse city we are building in Charlotte," said Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.

Click here for the Charlotte in 2012 website

Foxx said the benefits will come both in direct dollars spent on the gathering and the lasting impact of national exposure. Officials estimate the convention scheduled during the first full week in September 2012 will attract an estimated 30,000 to 35,000 delegates, media members and political leaders.

The Charlotte pick confirms that North Carolina will likely be a key battleground state if President Barack Obama wants to win reelection.

Obama edged Republican John McCain in 2008 by about 14,000 votes among more than 4.3 million votes cast to put the state's electoral votes in the Democratic column for the first time since 1976.

But Obama clearly has his work cut out for him in North Carolina this time around.

December polling results from the conservative Civitas Institute show his approval rating in NC at 46 percent with 52 disapproving of his job performance.

Meanwhile, the left leaning Public Policy Polling shows his approval at 49 percent with 47 percent disapproving.

The new North Carolina Republican Party chairman said Tuesday he welcomes Democrats to Charlotte.

But GOP Chairman Robin Hayes said that won't be enough for Obama to again win the state's 15 electoral votes.

Duke Energy Corp. CEO Jim Rogers expects that organizers will have to raise up to $50 million for the event and will seek donations from around the country.

Planners have said the economic impact of the convention could be as high as $200 million.

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