Democrats Skip Out, Adding to Convention Woes

In January, organizers shortened the convention from four days to three "to make room for organizing day and celebrating #DNC2012 host community," the host committee announced via Twitter.

Organizers this week denied a Bloomberg report that they have fallen $27 million short of their fundraising goal. "We are right on track with the fundraising we are doing," convention chief executive Stephen Kerrigan told National Journal by telephone on Tuesday.

Perhaps another issue for the Democratic convention is its location.

President Obama won North Carolina in 2008, while Democrat Kay Hagan defeated incumbent Republican Elizabeth Dole in the state's high-profile Senate race. With their performances in North Carolina and Virginia, Democrats expanded their map of competitive states and made promising inroads into the South--inroads that hadn't been available to them since Bill Clinton's presidential campaigns.

Democrats announced their finalist cities of Charlotte, Minneapolis, Cleveland, and St. Louis in June 2010. After the Metrodome roof collapsed amid a snowstorm in Minneapolis, organizers were hemmed in. Charlotte looked like a politically aggressive choice--a signal that Democrats would fight to defend their Southern beachhead in 2012--but now, North Carolina rates only barely as a swing state. Gallup found Obama's North Carolina approval was 43.7 percent in 2011, according to data released in January, a 3.2-percent decline from 2010. Obama's endorsement of gay marriage, after North Carolina passed an amendment banning it this year, seemed to put him at odds with voters there.

While Republicans could see a minor boost in Florida after Mitt Romney's nomination in Tampa in August, Obama may not benefit from a similar swing-state bump.

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