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Taking a quick look at the RNC and DNC

Nathan Turoff, Student Government Reporter

Today, August 17, marks the first day of the Democratic National Convention. Held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the convention is substantially toned down from what was initially planned, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

But what exactly is the Democratic National Convention? What is the Republican National Convention? Why do they matter?

Presidential nomination conventions are a cornerstone of the presidential race, and are held every 4 years, just like the election. They mark the official end of each party’s primary race. After the conventions, the more traditional, party versus party campaigning begins. In these conventions, delegates of a political party formally elect their nominee for the presidency. Both of the major political parties in the U.S. — the Democratic and Republican Parties — always hold their conventions. Some of the minor political parties hold conventions as well, like the Green Party and Libertarian Party.

These events are very sacred to the political parties, as many important figures in the party often give speeches before the presumptive nominee, such as previous presidents, former candidates, popular congresspeople, and many others. These conventions are also where parties heal any wounds inflicted in the primaries, and unite behind their candidate for the presidency.

2020 marks an unprecedented change in these conventions. As the United States has become the leader in Coronavirus cases and deaths, both parties scaled down or totally virtualized their conventions, because large open gatherings and crowds are very susceptible to outbreaks. 

The Republican National Convention, wherein President Donald Trump was expected to accept his nomination for a second term as president, was scheduled to be held here in Jacksonville. This was cancelled as Florida became a hotspot in Covid-19 cases. The convention will instead be live streamed Aug.24 to Aug 27, with Trump planning to accept the nomination remotely from the White House. Biden is also expected to accept his nomination remotely. 

This is significant because neither party has scaled their conventions down in this manner and scale over the 150 years they have been hosting them. This move is incredibly unprecedented as the COVID-19 pandemic has changed, and may continue to change, commonplace traditions for the first time in our lifetimes.

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For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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