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Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 02/ 1/2011

Charlotte will be site of 2012 Democratic National Convention

By Chris Cillizza and Rachel Weiner

AP photo. Charlotte, North Carolina will be the site of the 2012 Democratic convention.

Democrats will gather for their 2012 national convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, a pick that signals that President Obama will seek to recreate -- at least in part -- his winning electoral coalition.

"Barack and I spent a lot of time in North Carolina during the campaign," wrote First Lady Michelle Obama in an e-mail announcing the choice.

The Democratic National Convention will take place the week of Sept. 3, 2012, Michelle Obama announced.

It will be the first presidential-nominating convention to ever take place in North Carolina. Other finalists included St. Louis, Minneapolis and Cleveland.

Union officials are not thrilled by the choice, because there are no unionized hotels in Charlotte. There were similar complaints about Denver in 2008; there's only one unionized hotel there. North Carolina is also the first state with right-to-work laws to host a Democratic convention since 1988.

Republicans announced earlier this year they will hold their 2012 convention in Tampa, Florida.

President Obama was the first Democrat to carry North Carolina at the presidential level since then Georgia Gov. Jimmy Carter won it in 1976.

Obama won the state 50 percent to 49 percent in 2008, a margin of 14,000 votes out of more than four million cast.

The 2010 election saw Republicans re-assert themselves in the Tarheel State. Sen. Richard Burr (R) was easily reelected last November and Rep. Renee Elmers (R) pulled off a stunning upset of Bob Etheridge (D) in the 2nd district.

But, Republicans failed to unseat three other targeted Democrats: Reps. Heath Shuler, Mike McIntyre and Larry Kissell all survived a Republican wave nationally.

Republicans expect to heavily target Gov. Bev Perdue (D) in 2012 with former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory seen as their strongest potential candidate.

By Chris Cillizza and Rachel Weiner  | February 1, 2011; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2012  
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