The streets of Columbus were a blur of campaign posters, field volunteers and the ever-repeated question: “Have you registered to vote?” The airwaves were captivated by the rehearsed voices of politicians and every prime-time commercial break was a reminder of Election Day.
In fall 2012, Columbus was a battlefield.
In the showdown between President Barack Obama and then-Republican candidate Mitt Romney, Ohio was everything. Every poll was saying the same thing: Win Ohio and you’ll win the election. The result was months of stump speeches with pandering references to the Buckeyes, impromptu sandwich stops at Sloopy’s Diner, branded buses parked outside the Ohio Union and even, on one occasion, a full-page ad placed in The Lantern by the Ohio Democratic Party with a quote from Romney saying he’s a Michigan Wolverine fan.
We guess they knew their audience.
Obama ended up winning Franklin County and winning Ohio — and consequently, he secured the presidency.
In the ensuing year and a half, life in Columbus has returned to normalcy. But with 2016 looming around the corner, the political spotlight is on the city once again. Columbus is a finalist to host the Republican National Convention and there is considerable buzz surrounding the Democratic National Convention in 2016, and we think either would be foolish to pass up the opportunity.
It would give the opportunity for that party to connect with Columbus residents on a personal level, bringing in its biggest names and giving locals a chance to voice their needs and concerns face-to-face. Columbus is a thriving city with a great local business scene — something members of both parties can agree is a good thing to have. It’s Midwestern, and it’s a political battleground with an established convention center and two major arenas.
If Ohio wins elections, why not bring the elections to Ohio?
Columbus can’t host both conventions, but whoever secures the city first will be looking better for it in 2016.