The Republican National Convention is a convention sponsored by the Republican National Committee to nominate the Republican candidates for President and Vice President. The convention is held every four years, in the summer before a presidential election.
The Republican National Convention also considers, revises and approves the official Republican National Platform. Nearly all state Republican Party organizations typically adopt the national platform, and most Republican candidates campaign on the principles set forth in the party platform.
Although delegates are chosen based on their loyalty to the party, and certain state officials are automatically delegates to the Convention, the Convention does not use the "superdelegate" method used by the Democrats to rig their primary elections in favor of a predetermined candidate; the automatic delegates are already pledged based on the state's vote.
Each state is allocated a number of delegates, based on a mix of:
- a fixed number (13) for each state regardless of its size or party performance (the state's chair, state's national committeeman, and state's national committeewoman are automatically delegates to the national convention, plus each state is allocated an additional ten delegates),
- three delegates for each member of the United States House of Representatives (not just Republican member), and
- additional "bonus" delegates which are awarded based on the party's performance in Presidential elections and in electing officials at the Federal and state levels; this last portion rewards Republican-leaning states such as Texas (which will receive the maximum number of bonus delegates at the 2020 convention), while punishing Democrat-leaning states such as California (which at the 2020 convention will receive no additional delegates).
Territories and the District of Columbia are also allocated a set number of delegates.
Speakers on Monday, August 24 included Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, and Jim Jordan, followed by Melania Trump, Donald Trump's wife, on Tuesday. Wednesday featured Mike Pence, who spoke from Fort McHenry. Thursday will feature a speech by President and nominee Donald Trump.
In 2016, the convention met from July 18 through 21 in Cleveland, and the platform committee met the preceding week to write and recommend the national platform.
The 2016 Republican National Convention was held on July 18–21, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Quicken Loans Arena. The convention was attended by about 2,470 delegates and 2,302 alternate delegates from every State, D.C., and five territories. A massive press corps of perhaps 15,000 reporters attended.
Speakers included former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Rand Paul, Nikki Haley, New Mexico Governor Susanna Martinez, John Kasich, Rob Portman, Kelly Ayotte, Bob McDonnell, Connie Mack, John McCain, Jeb Bush and Artur Davis. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie gave the keynote speech on Tuesday night, and Clint Eastwood was the "mystery" speaker on Thursday night, right before 2012 Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney spoke.
Florida Governor Rick Scott cancelled his appearance at the convention, and declared a state of emergency for Florida on August 25, 2012 in preparation for the approach of then Tropical Storm Isaac. Tampa often floods, even with Florida's regular heavy summer storms. The RNC delayed the convention kickoff over fears that Hurricane Isaac may have interrupted the proceedings. Even so, RNC Reince Priebus told reporters, "We don't think it will hit Tampa."
Questions to be resolved at the 2012 convention include:
- will conservative delegates be able to defeat the RINO rule change that would centralize power by unfairly allowing a nominee to replace any elected delegate?
- will RINOs allow the elected Maine Ron Paul delegates to be seated at the convention?
- will RINOs prevent speakers from making meaningful statements against abortion and same-sex marriage issues, in prime time?
- will the Republican National Platform criticize Planned Parenthood this time?
- will someone more conservative than Paul Ryan, such as Allen West, at least be nominated for vice president?
- will RINOs really exclude conservative Florida congressman Allen West and Sarah Palin from speaking at the convention?
History and prior conventions
The first Republican National Convention was held at La Fayette Hall in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on February 22, 1856. It was called by the state party chairmen of Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin, and lasted for two days. The men wished to form a national anti-slavery party.
Most Republican National Conventions that have led to victory have been contentious:
- 1952 - epic struggle between Robert Taft and Dwight Eisenhower for the nomination
- 1968 - multiple candidates, including Ronald Reagan, stayed in the race until the convention
- 1980 - Reagan passed over Gerald Ford and picked George H.W. Bush as V.P.
- 1988 - George H.W. Bush picked Dan Quayle as V.P., and received a "bounce" in the polls that continued through the election
- Blitzer, Ron (August 23, 2020) Fox News (retrieved August 24, 2020)
- C-Span (August 24, 2020) C-Span (retrieved August 24, 2020)
- Miller, Andrew (August 25, 2020) Washington Examiner (retrieved August 27, 2020)
- Rand Paul to speak at Republican National Convention, says Reuters Brian Doherty, reason.com, retrieved August 13, 2012
- Christie rallies GOP in convention keynote with tough-love 'truth-telling' message foxnews.com, August 29, 2012, retrieved September 1, 2012
- Clint Eastwood's Republican National Convention speech: Pros and cons for the RNC and Romney denverpost.com, August 31, 2012, retrieved September 1, 2012
- Flood Protection tampagov.net, City of Tampa, retrieved September 1, 2012
- Florida governor declares state of emergency ahead of Isaac foxnews.com, August 25, 2012, retrieved September 1, 2012
- The First Republican National Convention George W. Julian, The American Historical Review, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Jan., 1899), pp. 313-322 Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the American Historical Association, retrieved September 1, 2012