Republicans have chosen the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul over Cleveland and other cities for the 2008 presidential convention, GOP officials said Wednesday.

The selection was expected to be announced later today, said the Republican sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The choice of the Twin Cities would provide a major political punch for the GOP, capturing the media markets in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota — all battleground states in the 2004 election.

Others losing out were New York City and a joint bid from Tampa and St. Petersburg, Fla., cities that had sought the GOP convention.

The four-day event will be held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., home of the hockey team.

The Twin Cities also are in the running for the Democratic national convention.

The Democrats plan to hold their convention Aug. 25-28, 2008, and the Republicans will meet a few days later on Sept. 1-4.

The Democrats, who last met in Boston, will announce a decision later this fall. A spokesman said 11 sites expressed interest in having the party's convention, but only four completed the proposals. New Orleans later withdrew its bid, leaving Denver, New York City and Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The GOP held its last convention in New York City, where GOP delegates nominated President Bush for a second term.

The last national convention in the Twin Cities was in 1892, when the GOP backed President Benjamin Harrison in an unsuccessful re-election bid.