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Now or never? Ohio pins hopes on GOP convention

FILE-This Friday, July 19, 2013 file photo shows U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, talking with Steve Scheffler, left, during a fundraising picnic for the Iowa Republican Party in Des Moines, Iowa. Having fallen short twice recently, Ohio is making a big push to land the 2016 Republican National Convention with three cities bidding as finalists, eager to reassert its Midwestern political clout to a party that may be slowly moving away from it. The three cities, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus, are among eight initial finalists for the GOP convention, the most from Ohio in a single year in recent memory. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Ohio is looking to reassert its political clout by pressing forward with three bids to host the Republican National Convention, competing against fast-growing states that have newer infrastructure and the more diverse electorate that the party is trying to attract.

Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus are competing with five other U.S. cities.

While Ohio's biggest selling point is its pivotal role in electing presidents, the state has political complexities. Its core voters are older and working-class whites.

RNC Chairman Reince Priebus (ryns PREE'-bus) and members of the selection committee downplay swing-state status as a top factor in their decision. They emphasized fundraising ability and hotel space.

Ohio was a convention runner-up for Republicans in 2008 and Democrats in 2012.

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