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Then again, at least Utah is positioned near center stage, unlike Colorado, a must-have state for Republicans that’s seated on the far left row, behind American Samoa and Arizona.

Is that any way to treat a swing state?

“I actually think our position on the floor is terrific,” Colorado Republican Party Chairman Ryan Call said. “Any time the cameras panned to a wide shot, there was Colorado. We had a great view of the action on the floor.”

It’s true that convention designers have managed to transform the cavernous 20,000-seat arena, home of the Tampa Bay Lightning professional hockey team, into something almost cozy. The venue feels intimate, more like a high-school graduation than a rock concert.

“Really, there’s not a bad seat in the house,” Kansas delegate Nathan Cox said.

As for the Vermont delegation, the challenge for 2016 is to boost its Republican turnout in this year’s presidential race or risk another year in convention purgatory.

“It’s fine,” said Mrs. McKnight with a brave grin. “We know Vermont’s place on the food chain.”