DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Republican National Committee confirms Dallas is on a short-list as a potential site for its national convention.
Texas GOP Chair James Dickey said, “I’m not at all surprised.”
Dickey responded to President Trump’s announcement this week about moving the convention with a tweet saying “We’d be happy to make it work in Texas, Mr. President.”
The President said North Carolina’s Governor wouldn’t guarantee Republicans could hold the event without restricting the amount of people because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
But so far, Dickey said he hasn’t heard from the RNC. “No, they are looking at alternatives still and trying to figure out where they’d most like to do it.”
The organization Visit Dallas also said it hasn’t heard from the RNC.
Dickey said three convention centers in the state have expressed an interest in hosting the national convention, but he wouldn’t name them.
SMU political science professor Cal Jillson said Dallas is on the list because it’s fully capable of handling a convention, but believes it’s more likely to be held in a state considered a toss-up in November.
“There are more strategic places they’ll look at. I think Atlanta or someplace in Georgia because Georgia is closer to slipping away than Texas is. They could look at several places in Florida because Florida is an absolute must win for Trump.”
The news comes a week before President Trump is set to visit Dallas for his first in-person fundraiser since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
A new poll out by Quinnipiac University Wednesday showed the President leading presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by just one point in Texas, 44% to 43%.
Jillson said, “I don’t think Texas is as close as that Quinnipiac poll suggested. Most of the polling that you’re seeing suggests Trump is up maybe by 5. I suspect Trump still carries Texas.”
Dickey criticized the poll, but said it doesn’t change what he tells fellow Republicans.
“My message to Republicans: this needs to motivate you. It shows we can take nothing for granted. We need to do the hard work.”