CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Charlotte has made the final four of cities vying to host the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The news was announced Wednesday night by the North Carolina Democratic Party.
The other finalists are Cleveland, Minneapolis and St. Louis. Except for Missouri, in which President Barack Obama narrowly lost, all the finalist cities are located in states in which the president won in 2008. However, he didn't win any of them by that much and all of them, including Missouri, are considered strategically important to his reelection chances in 2012.
North Carolina had the second closest race of the four states, with only Missouri being closer. Obama beat John McCain in North Carolina by fewer than 14,000 votes out of over 4.2 million cast.
The city of Charlotte estimates nabbing the convention would have an economic impact of between $150 and $200 million to the region's economy. Mayor Anthony Foxx and Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers are co-chairing the effort to bring the convention to Charlotte.
The original request to the Democratic National Committee to host the convention was made by the late city councilwoman Susan Burgess, who recently passed away due to cancer. "This would be an excellent tribute to the legacy of Susan Burgess," said Joel Ford, chairman of the Mecklenburg Democratic Party.
In an interview last September, Burgess talked about why she felt North Carolina would be a logical choice for the convention. "I would think that North Carolina and the South would be very strategic, and I think that's part of our appeal," Burgess said at the time.
President Obama won North Carolina by 0.4 percent in 2008, Ohio by 4 percent, Minnesota by 10 percent, and he lost Missouri by a mere 0.1 percent.