Birmingham remains on the Democrats’ official list of possible convention sites. But given the realities of presidential politics and the perceived limits of a city of 212,000, almost no one is expecting it to beat out the other finalists: Columbus, Ohio; Philadelphia; Phoenix; and New York City.

Yet for all of the gentle skepticism and outright mockery, supporters of the bid are adamant that the competition does not have a foregone conclusion. At minimum, Birmingham backers say, this city’s place in the national convention conversation has given it an injection of confidence. “The fact that we’ve had a unified effort and the community has challenged itself and tested itself to think big about something like this, it’s a better community for having gone through the process,” said Brian Hilson, the president of the Birmingham Business Alliance