Republican National Convention to begin on Monday

The 2020 Republican National Convention (RNC) is set to begin on Monday, during which President Donald Trump will formally accept the party’s presidential nomination for the November 3 election.

The four-day convention, which will run till Thursday, has been largely scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

Trump had planned to move his acceptance speech to Jacksonville, Florida but he later called it off after infections surged in “The Sunshine State”.

His speech will now take place on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday night despite criticism that the federal property should not be used as the backdrop for a campaign event.

On the inaugural day of the RNC, convention proceedings in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday will be attended by six delegates from each state and territory, amounting to 336 delegates in total, who will nominate Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for a second term.

Trump will make a stop in Charlotte on Monday just as delegates plan to hold roll call nomination.

On Sunday, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said that she doesn’t believe the presence of the convention attendees in Charlotte will pose public health risks.

“We tested everybody before they came to Charlotte, we tested everybody onsite,” McDaniel told CBS News.

“We are doing things that allow people to live their lives, have a convention.”

First lady Melania Trump will speak on Tuesday night from the recently renovated Rose Garden of the White House, while Pence will deliver his acceptance speech at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland, on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who has embarked on a four country trip, will reportedly be addressing the RNC from “an undisclosed location” in Jerusalem.

Other speakers for the RNC also include members of the Trump family, as well as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, former US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, and former New York City Mayor and Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani.

George W. Bush, the only living Republican former President, will not speak at this year’s convention.

Bush, who served between 2001 and 2009, did not attend the 2016 convention also.

Besides the acceptance speech on the last night of the RNC, Trump will speak on the three other nights, also a break from traditions.

“You’ll have President Trump speaking at various parts for each of the nights,” Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told NBC News on Sunday.

Miller said the RNC will focus on what he called “all the accomplishments that we’ve had over the last four years with President Trump and what the president’s second-term vision is going to look like”.

According to The New York Times, Trump will speak nightly during the 10 p.m. hour of the RNC.

Democrats are planning to use a series of ads, television appearances and briefings to counter-program the RNC.

A group of Republicans, including some Trump critics, will hold a “Convention on Founding Principles” in Charlotte, also starting on Monday, which they claimed is an alternative to the RNC.

The RNC event comes only several days after the conclusion of the virtually-held 2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) that officially nominated former Vice President Joe Biden for President.

Viewership for the DNC was down about 17 per cent on average this year across all four nights compared with 2016, according to Nielsen Media Research, a US firm that measures media audiences.

More than 122 million people watched the DNC live across broadcast, cable and digital platforms, while the events had 128.7 million video views on social media, according to the Biden campaign.

Bide’s favourability increased from 40 per cent to 45 per cent in a week, according to an ABC News-Ipsos poll released after the DNC.

The poll found Trump’s favourability around 32 per cent, mostly unchanged from other recent polls, but his unfavourability increased to 60 per cent.

“Actually, I think I’m leading in the Polls,” Trump tweeted on Sunday afternoon.

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