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Republicans have picked Cleveland as the host city for their 2016 convention.

Cleveland was declared the winner over runner-up Dallas by a 12-member site selection committee on Tuesday. 


The Republican National Committee’s 168 members must still ratify the decision at a meeting next month, but that is expected to be a formality.

“It’s going to be in Cleveland. The RNC has chosen Cleveland," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince PriebusReinhold (Reince) Richard PriebusTim Scott says he'd support Trump reelection bid Hill: Trump reelection would spur 'one constitutional crisis after another' Wisconsin GOP quietly prepares Ron Johnson backup plans MORE announced on Fox News. "We couldn’t be more excited. The city is on the rise. If you haven’t been to Cleveland lately, it’s a real surprise how beautiful it is down by that lake.” 

The convention is slated to begin on either June 28 or July 18.

By picking Cleveland, Republicans are placing their convention in a swing state the party's presidential nominee in 2016 almost certainly needs to win to get to the White House. 

No Republican has won a presidential election without winning Ohio since Abraham Lincoln in 1860. President John F. Kennedy (D) was the last candidate to win the White House without Ohio.  

Priebus said the choice of Cleveland was based on a business decision, but also acknowledged Ohio’s importance in winning the White House. 

“It’s the cherry on top of the cake to go to Cleveland," he said.

The RNC had pointed out that although Dallas invited more money and contained more hospitality options, Ohio could drive more voters to the party.

“Cleveland is the heart of the ultimate swing state,” the Cleveland host committee website said. “In [2012], a voter swing of as little as 15 [percent] in Cuyahoga County would have turned Ohio red.”

The RNC already has a full-time field staff in Ohio, a sign of its seriousness in winning the state in 2016. Historically, the party has not showed up in the key battleground state until just a few months before the general election. 

“I think it’s been terrible for our party,” Preibus said.

As of last month, Cleveland had received $25 million in pledges to subsidize the convention. Dallas had raised $45 million.

Cleveland, the third-poorest city in the country, will likely reap huge economic benefits as the host city. A report from the City of Tampa found that the economic impact of hosting the 2012 RNC was $427 million.

The committee requires that 16,000 hotel rooms be available for the convention in the host city. Cleveland has 17,000 rooms within a 45-minute drive of downtown and 5,000 rooms in the immediate downtown area, the party said. 

In June, Cleveland’s temperatures can rise to as high as 79 degrees. Dallas gets much hotter, with an average high of 92 degrees.

Denver, Cincinnati, Columbus, Ohio; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas and Phoenix were also considered as potential host cities, but they were eliminated over the last several months.  

The site selection committee eliminated Denver and Kansas City in late June, narrowing the field to Dallas and Cleveland. 

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is also considering hosting its 2016 convention in Cleveland. Other cities in the running are New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Columbus, Ohio; and Birmingham, Alabama.

DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz is expected to announce the host city later this year or in early 2015.

Vivian Hughbanks contributed. 

This post was updated at 12:41 p.m.