Ready for a Remote Gavel In

The Democratic National Convention begins next week, with the Republican National Convention following just one week later. As the parties gear up to host the first virtual conventions in history, here’s what to watch for:

  • Where the candidates will accept their nominations. Former vice president Biden is expected to accept the nomination from his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware, after last week’s announcement that he would no longer travel to Milwaukee due to concerns over the coronavirus. The location for Biden’s speech has not been announced, but party officials indicated it will not be from his basement or house. The location for President Trump’s acceptance speech has also not been revealed, though the president has floated the idea of the White House.
  • How each party will engage voters. Both campaigns have mapped out themes for each night of convention programming. Democrats today announced a slate of everyday Americans from across the country who will speak alongside elected officials about the challenges they face amid the worsening pandemic and its economic fallout. Republicans are building the programming to focus on what a second term presidency would look like in “very granular detail.” Meanwhile, 336 total delegates will still travel to Charlotte, North Carolina for official party business, as health and safety protocols were announced.
  • Whether the campaigns will get a virtual convention bounce. The conventions have historically provided an opportunity for candidates to move into the fall with a bump in polling and momentum. The Biden campaign may be planning for a VP bounce leading into their convention, with a decision expected this week. The Trump campaign is expected to build on their massive digital operation to be successful.
  • More changes to come? The coronavirus pandemic has already forced numerous changes to the national conventions. Planners have continued to caution that details are still in flux and subject to change.