Phil's Rambling Rants
Why did Columbus lose?|
This pretty much pegs it.
The fact that Columbus got into the bid late had a lot to do with it.
The fact that Japan has provided detailed reports and results from its national convention for years also increased familiarity with the Japanese committee.
In North America, few cities win a bid without either a history or a successful NASFic run by the committee. If Columbus were to run a successful NASFic, they would be assured of a WorldCon win.