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Democrats will flock to Chicago for the party's 2024 convention

Chicago's skyline is seen from the Guaranteed Rate Field in 2021.
Kamil Krzaczynski
Chicago's skyline is seen from the Guaranteed Rate Field in 2021.

Updated April 11, 2023 at 2:20 PM ET

Next summer's 2024 Democratic National Convention will be held in Chicago.

The Democratic National Committee announced Tuesday it had chosen the Windy City over other cities in contention, including New York, Atlanta and Houston, as the site where delegates will select a final presidential nominee.

"Chicago is a great choice to host the 2024 Democratic National Convention," President Biden said in a statement. "Democrats will gather to showcase our historic progress including building an economy from the middle out and bottom up, not from the top down."

Biden has said he plans to seek reelection but has not yet made an official announcement.

In 2020, the Democratic convention had been planned for Milwaukee, but the pandemic forced a switch to a mostly virtual event. In naming Chicago for 2024, the DNC cited the city's location in the so-called "Blue Wall" of must-win Midwestern states for Democrats — Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. Biden won all four in 2020.

The selection comes a week after Chicago elected a new Democratic mayor, and in neighboring Wisconsin, the state supreme courtflipped in favor of liberals for the first time in 15 years.

Said Ronna McDaniel, chair of the Republican National Committee, in a statement Tuesday: "We look forward to the DNC's convention where their radical agenda will be on full display for the world to see. Voters will soundly reject whichever out-of-touch liberal the Democrats nominate in Chicago and instead elect our Republican nominee as the next President of the United States."

This is not the first rodeo for the DNC in Chicago

Since Democrats began formally hosting conventions under the party name in 1832, Chicago has been the site of 12 conventions. The first convention in Chicago dates back to 1864 when George McClellan and George Pendleton were nominated as the presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively, at a time the party was split by the ongoing Civil War, according to the Library of Congress. (President Abraham Lincoln won that election, securing a second term.)

Franklin D. Roosevelt accepted his nomination during the Chicago 1932 convention, where he spoke about his "New Deal" proposal. In fact, three of the four times Roosevelt was nominated for the presidency, the DNC convention was in Chicago.

Chicago also hosted the Democratic National Convention in 1968; it was marked with violence after protesters, police and others clashed over the Vietnam War. Hundreds were arrested and injured. Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Sen. Edmund Muskie were ultimately nominated for president and vice president, respectively. (They ran — and lost — against Richard Nixon and his running mate, Spiro Agnew.)

The 1996 conference, the most recent to be held in Chicago, led to the second nomination of President Bill Clinton.

Republicans, meanwhile, have already chosen Milwaukee as the site of their 2024 convention.

Former President Donald Trump, former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson are among the Republicans who've already announced their bid for the GOP ticket.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ximena Bustillo
Ximena Bustillo is a multi-platform reporter at NPR covering politics out of the White House and Congress on air and in print.
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