DENVER (CBS4) – On Monday Colorado leaders will make their pitch to party leaders in person to try to attract the 2016 Republican National Convention to Denver.
In 2008 Denver hosted the Democratic National Convention and now it may be the Republicans’ turn.
“All things being equal I think Denver is a great place to host a convention and I think that’s simply because we’re a competitive state,” said University of Denver Assistant Professor of Political Science Peter Hanson.
Hanson said there aren’t that many states that are truly competitive in presidential elections right now.
“There were only about 10 in the last election. Many of those were in the west and that’s because we’re experiencing very rapid demographic change,” said Hanson.
That includes Hispanic voters who are critical, according to Republican Party consultant Dick Wadhams.
“Hispanic voters are increasingly growing in states like Colorado and Nevada and Arizona and Texas, and if Republicans don’t address that challenge our party will be irrelevant,” said Wadhams.
Denver hosted 50,000 people for the Democratic convention and is adding more hotel rooms every year.
The city’s sales pitch video points to the airport and the new transportation terminal at Union Station.
Wadhams thinks Las Vegas will be a huge competitor with the backing of business magnate Sheldon Adelson.
“Sheldon Adelson is somebody who desperately wants that convention to come to Las Vegas and money is no object, but I don’t think that will be the deciding factor, but it certainly is something that weighs in their favor,” said Wadhams.
However, Denver is also likely to be able to raise the millions necessary. And while Denver can’t put on the shows that Las Vegas can, Denver may still have an edge.
“That’s part of Las Vegas’ problem too, Las Vegas is Las Vegas,” said Wadhams.
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. In Denver what happens probably gets out all over the place.