It has become part of political mythology that a candidate cannot win the presidency without carrying Ohio. (John F. Kennedy pulled off this feat in 1960, winning the general election even though he lost the Buckeye State.)
We'll come back to that. But first, let's take a look at another little piece of history. It has to do with the site of the GOP national nominating conventions. It looks like there's some telltale relationship between the host city and the eventual presidential winner that should have been taken into consideration. I guess Reince Preibus missed it when he announced Cleveland, Ohio as the host city for the 2016 National convention.
In the past five presidential elections, here are the cities where the GOP held their nominating gatherings:
- 1996 San Diego, California
- 2000 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 2004 New York, New York
- 2008 St. Paul, Minnesota
- 2012 Tampa, Florida
So how did that work out for the convention's host state and their GOP nominee in the general election?
- In '96 Bob Dole LOST California
- In 2000 George Bush LOST Pennsylvania
- In '04 George Bush LOST New York
- In '08 John McCain LOST Minnesota
- In '12 Mitt Romney LOST Florida.
Five elections, five GOP host state losses. So now that the RNC has chosen Cleveland, Ohio to host their convention and no president has won the general election without winning Ohio for a long time, things are looking quite bleak. And if you're thinking of the Kennedy exception, to borrow from Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle:
Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy.
And neither are any of the Republican potential candidates for 2016.