The Republican National Committee has chosen three finalists to compete for the Republican National Convention in 2012.
Two of the three choices seem to make no sense, as the location of the national convention should be designed to gain support in a state which is competitive for the Presidential election.
Under that standard, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, while rapidly growing cities in the Mountain and Desert West, make no sense as hosts, as neither Arizona nor Utah are in contention for the electoral vote. Utah is reliably Republican on a consistent basis, and Arizona, even with a growing Hispanic population, cannot be seen as prime territory for Democratic gains in the future.
On the other hand, Tampa, Florida makes a lot of sense as the host for the GOP convention, in a state that is definitely in play, with President Obama having won it in 2008, but a state that has usually voted Republican in the past, and is likely to be one of the major battlegrounds of the next presidential election. Also, Florida, as the fourth largest state, has a much larger pool of voters to campaign for, than Arizona or Utah.
So if the Republicans are smart, they will choose Tampa as the site of the 2012 Republican National Convention!