DNC moves up 2020 convention timing to ‘maximize exposure’ ahead of fall campaign
iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — Democrats will hold their 2020 national convention in mid-July – two weeks earlier than the party’s 2016 event, a move Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez says “will not only allow for a unified party, but will ensure that our nominee is in the strongest position to take on Donald Trump or whoever the Republican nominee may be.”
Democrats also touted the shift as an attempt to “maximize exposure” for whoever emerges from an uncertain and likely crowded field of Democratic contenders for the party’s presidential nomination and would avoid conflicting with the 2020 Summer Olympics.
“The Democratic Party is committed to organizing everywhere, and holding the convention in mid-July allows us to continue our work doing exactly that,” Perez said in a statement released by the DNC Friday, “My priority is to ensure that the 2020 nominating process is the most open, fair, transparent and inclusive in our party’s history.”
Moving their convention to early July means the marquee event for the party is taking place almost two weeks earlier than the 2016 convention, which took place between July 25 and 28, and at an earlier date in more than 20 years. The change also means Democrats will not have to compete for viewers with the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, slated to begin July 24.
The DNC has also narrowed down the potential sites for their 2020 conventions, and are considering eight potential host cities: Atlanta, Birmingham, Denver, Houston, Miami Beach, Milwaukee, New York and San Francisco.
Democrats are also undoubtedly hoping to avoid the discord that marred parts of the 2016 convention, when supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., strongly voiced their discontent over the party’s nominating process that resulted in the nomination of Hillary Clinton.
Hoping to quell concerns among many of its members about the nomination process, the DNC will meet again in August to decide if there will be any changes to the system of unpledged delegates, often referred to as superdelegates, a major point of contention among Sanders supporters.
Party cohesion will be crucial to making the Democratic hopes of a one-term Trump presidency a reality. But with a myriad of Democrats speculated to be eyeing the nomination, including but not limited to the likes of Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, that status of that cohesion remains very much in flux.
Another added benefit to an earlier convention is the fact that it allows whoever the Democratic nominee to begin spending money on the general election — presumably against President Trump — which will no doubt be an intense and costly battle.
While the timing change is significant, it is not unusual that the out-of-power party holds an earlier convention than the party holding the White House.
In 2004 Democrats when were vying to unseat then Republican President George W. Bush, the party held their convention over a full month before the GOP.
It was that same 2004 convention that provided the nation with its first glimpse at future president, then-senator, Barack Obama.
Obama’s convention speech, vaulted him into the national spotlight, and many view it as the event that laid the foundation for his successful run for the Oval Office in 2008.
The Republican Party has not yet decided on a date or location for their convention in 2020, and an RNC official did not respond to a request for comment from ABC News.
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