SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Political conventions continue to evolve, this year, even more so because of COVID-19 but it raises the question, how important are they?
Political conventions have changed a lot since first being introduced and even just within the last 40-50 years, but in a year like 2020 what purpose do they serve? In the early days of political conventions, there were never predetermined candidates for either party.
Fellow party members would nominate someone based on their speeches, relationships, and message throughout the convention, but now, voters do all that in the primaries.
So now conventions are mostly used as a rally for each candidate but, there is a major component of both national conventions that won’t be able to happen this year.
“The other thing is that in-person contact is gone,” said Tony Cignoli, a political consultant. “That’s where the deals get made for two years from now for four years from now a race for congress a race for the United States Senate a future presidential contender making a connection in person on the floor delivering votes, you’re not able to do that here.”
The Democratic Convention looked very different this year, it was mostly virtual, with only local delegates making an appearance in Milwaukee. The Republican Convention is more traditional, although its scaled-down, there will still be a crowd and in-person speakers in Charlotte.
This has left many wondering if the changes we’re seeing in 2020 could be a sign of the new norm for years to come. The RNC kicked off Monday night and will continue through Thursday.
President Trump is expected to accept his nomination from the White House.