The 2020 Democratic National Convention will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairman Tom Perez announced Monday, a decision that comes after Hillary Clinton narrowly lost the critical state to Donald Trump in 2016.
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“If we’re going to take back the White House, restore the guard rails of our democracy, and make government work for American families, we need to earn it,” Perez wrote in a statement announcing the news.
“We need to fight alongside our brothers and sisters in labor to build a brighter future together, and empower the diversity of our party and country. This choice is a statement of our values, and I’m thrilled Milwaukee will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. The Democratic Party is the party of working people, and Milwaukee is a city of working people,” he continued.
Proud to announce that @TheDemocrats have chosen Milwaukee to host the 2020 Democratic National Convention. I’m grateful for every finalist city for being a part of this process with us — now let’s get ready for 2020. https://t.co/5eDwpTgC4m
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) March 11, 2019
“We saw in this last election what we can accomplish when we come together, invest, and fight for working people, and that was proven right here in Wisconsin,” Perez added, referencing the party’s 2018 victories in the state, which saw them capture every statewide office, including the governorship.
“This is a great day for the city of Milwaukee and for the state of Wisconsin,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who has led the city since 2004, added in a statement of his own. “Milwaukee is a first-class city, and we are ready to showcase Milwaukee on one of the largest stages in the world.”
The selection of a Midwestern city shows the symbolic and strategic importance the region will take on for Democrats in 2020 in their bid to re-take the White House and deny President Donald Trump a second term in the Oval Office.
The city beat out Miami and Houston as the site to host the Democratic Party’s convention, which will take place between July 13 and 16.
The choice comes two years after Hillary Clinton became the first Democratic presidential nominee to lose Wisconsin since Walter Mondale in 1984, one in a series of losses across the Midwest that aided Trump’s 2016 victory in the Electoral College despite losing the nationwide popular vote.
Clinton’s unexpected loss in Wisconsin sparked widespread griping in the party that the state, which she did not campaign in once during the general election, was largely ignored in favor of bigger electoral prizes like Florida, which also ultimately went to Trump on election night.
In her 2017 book about the election, “What Happened,” Clinton admitted that additional attention to Midwestern states could have benefited her, but insisted that the states were not ignored, writing that her campaign “knew the industrial Midwest was crucial to our success.
“For example, some critics have said that everything hinged on me not campaigning in the Midwest,” Clinton wrote. “And I suppose it is possible that a few more trips to Saginaw or a few more ads on the air on Waukesha could have tipped a couple thousand votes here and there.”
But despite the sting of 2016, the party bounced back in 2018, unseating incumbent GOP Governor Scott Walker and capturing the notching wins in statewide races for state treasurer, attorney general, lieutenant governor and secretary of state.
Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who at the beginning of the cycle was thought to be one of the party’s most vulnerable incumbents, cruised to re-election by 11 points.
However, a successful 2018 does not guarantee victory for the party in 2020 when Trump will be back on the ballot, a fact that some contenders for the 2020 Democratic nomination are well aware of.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the only candidate who represents a Midwestern state to declare thus far, began her campaign with an explicit nod to Wisconsin.
“We’re starting in Wisconsin because, as you remember, there wasn’t a lot of campaigning in Wisconsin in 2016,” Klobuchar said after she kicked off her campaign in the midst of a Minneapolis blizzard. “With me, that changes. … I’m going to be there a lot.”
The Republican National Committee (RNC) announced last year that its 2020 convention will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, between August 24 and 27.