The online story on the San Francisco Chronicle's SFGate "The odds are pretty decent that the Bay Area will host either a presidential or vice-presidential debate in 2012" acknowledges that two Bay Area higher-ed institutions are hoping to host the event - SMC and Dominican University. The article features videos from both Saint Mary's and Dominican (editorial note here:based on the videos, clearly the more picturesque backdrops and appropriate accommodations for the debate are to be found at Saint Mary's).
Another story about SMC and Dominican University vying for the debate appeared in the Contra Costa Times' Political Blotter, "Two Bay Area schools vie for 2012 prez debate."
The San Jose Mercury News (part of the Bay Area News Groups) also reported on SMC making the short list of institutions applying to host a 2012 presidential debate.
"Saint Mary's submits presidential debate application, prepares for site evaluation this summer."