Charlotte hosts the GOP convention? Not so fast, says Braxton Winston

The first-term city council member says he wants to hear more from the city’s residents before making up his mind.

Glenn H. Burkins

Is the GOP simply too politically toxic for Charlotte to host its Republican National Convention in 2020?

A growing number of my Facebook friends apparently think so. The latest to add his voice to the choir is Charlotte City Council member Braxton Winston.

In a Facebook video posted late Monday, the first-term council member suggested that city leaders should listen more closely to what voters are saying before rushing ahead with their bid to secure the convention, during which Donald Trump, in theory, would be nominated for a second term as president. (Las Vegas is the only known competitor for the convention.)

“…It would be foolish of me as a leader to not acknowledge the troublesome nature of our national politics especially those that surround our current federal government,” Winston said in the post. “Bringing the Republican National Convention to Charlotte is/should be more than an economic development decision. We would be asking the people of Charlotte to host a celebration for a brand of politics that has been highly divisive and some would say dangerous to our community.”

While some argue that the GOP, with its nationalist agenda, is not a good fit for liberal Charlotte, others have expressed concern about the potential for widespread protests and even violence as anti-Trump groups would pour into the Qcity, signs in hand.

Winston said there is now a “strong possibility” that Charlotte will be chosen over Vegas, and he’s concerned that the people of Charlotte should be engaged in that decision.

“To this point,” he said, “I don’t think we have done a good enough job with that engagement.”

The Qcity Spin:

As vexing as I find the tone and substance of Republican politics, are we really at a place where a major American city would decline to host the convention for one of the nation’s two major parties? That would be akin to the Virginia restaurant owner who gave White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders the bounce…except on steroids.

And then there’s the question of where else the party could go that might be more politically fitting.

A successful convention requires at least three things — a city with lots of technology and hotel rooms; a large police force, just in case; and a major convention facility.

That doesn’t describe your typical GOP stronghold. But there are a few places the RNC could go to find some Trump-friendly voters.

The list below shows the top 25 U.S. cities. The second column shows each city’s estimated populations in 2015. The third column shows which presidential candidate — Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump — won there in 2016.

1. New York — 8,550,405 – Clinton won all 5 boroughs
2. Los Angeles — 3,971,883 – 71.8%
3. Chicago — 2,720,546 – 73.9%
4. Houston — 2,296,224 – 54%
5. Philadelphia — 1,567,442 – 82.3%
6. Phoenix — 1,563,025 – 47.7 Trump
7. San Antonio — 1,469,845 – 54.2%
8. San Diego — 1,394,928 – 56.3%
9. Dallas — 1,300,092 – 60.8%
10. San Jose — 1,026,908 – 72.7%
11. Austin — 931,830 – 65.8%
12. Jacksonville — 868,031 – 48.5%
13. San Francisco — 864,816 — 84.5%
14. Indianapolis — 853,173 – 58%
15. Columbus — 850,106 – 59.8%
16. Fort Worth — 833,319 — 51.7%
17. Charlotte — 827,097 – 62.3%
18. Seattle — 684,451 – 69.8%
19. Denver — 682,545 – 73.7%
20. El Paso — 681,124 – 69.1%
21. Detroit — 677,116 — 66.4%
22. Washington — 672,228 — 90.9%
23. Boston — 667,137 — 89.3%
24. Memphis — 655,770 — 61.9%
25. Nashville — 654,610 — 59.8%

So what do you think? Should Charlotte host the 2020 convention?

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