The 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia could provide a boost for South Jersey

Traffic crosses the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.

The Ben Franklin Bridge connects Philadelphia to Camden and the rest of South Jersey. (Bas Slabbers for WHYY)

Philadelphia may have scored the 2016 Democratic National Convention. But South Jersey Democrats are hoping there’s going to be some spillover into the Garden State — both in economic and political benefits.
“I think that it’s obviously a tremendous plus to the region,” said state Sen. James Beach, D-Camden, who is also co-chair of the Camden County Democratic Committee. “Economically, 50,000 people are coming.”
He said he expects some of that influx of people to make their way across the Delaware River in search of hotel rooms and dinner reservations.
Politically speaking, having national Democratic political leaders in the region should be a boost for his party as well, Beach said.
Phil Warren, chairman of the Evesham Township Democratic Committee in Burlington County, said he’s also hoping for some reflected glory from Philadelphia come 2016.
He said that New Jersey typically doesn’t get a lot of attention when it comes to national elections — sandwiched as it is between New York with its high number of electoral votes, and Pennsylvania with its status as a swing state.
Living in a town and a county where Republicans have a majority can sometimes make it hard to rally the troops for elections, Warren said. Local Democrats are always battling against the apathy that can set in among members of the electorate who believe their efforts and votes aren’t going to make a difference anyway.
Warren said he hopes that an event as big and visible as the Democratic National Convention taking place close by will serve as a kind of a regional pep rally before the 2016 election. Maybe one that will carry some lasting benefits for area Democratic organizations.
“It would be a great way to recruit people,” Warren said. “Get people out knocking on doors and working phone banks. And most importantly, getting people out to the polls.”
This post is part of our South Jersey Politics Blog

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