Donald Trump and the GOP might struggle to find delegates to attend the upcoming Republican National Convention. The New York Times reported that Republicans are demanding a full house for the event despite the president’s threat to pull it out of Charlotte, North Carolina.
One reason the party is likely to not hold the event in Charlotte as originally planned is Gov. Roy Cooper’s insistence that the people who attend the gathering need to follow CDC guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Those precautions include social distancing and face masks, which Trump is unwilling to accept. Last weekend, delegates to the RNC received calls warning them to hold off on purchasing tickets for the event, which had been scheduled for late August. Delegates paid $2,000 for tickets to cover the four-day event, and they’ve been told that there may be refunds available.
However, the decision to abandon its Charlotte plans entirely hasn’t been made yet, even though Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis is lobbying heavily for the party to hold its convention there. At least some of the official business of the meeting will occur in Charlotte.
“It is still our hope and desire to hold the business of the Convention in Charlotte, but the Governor’s willingness to share his guidelines will need to occur to prevent this meeting from being an exercise in futility,” wrote Ronna McDaniel, the chair of the Republican National Committee, in a letter to the convention’s host committee.
There is also the possibility of a multi-city convention, according to an NBC News report. Such a move would mean the convention could boast its highest-ever attendance. There is some possibility that the president and vice president may give their speeches in a city other than Charlotte.
Because of the uncertainty regarding the details and city for the convention, as well as the coronavirus pandemic, some states are struggling to fill their delegate spaces. Many people who had planned to attend the convention are in at-risk categories, and they seem to be wary of attending due to the expected large crowds. Some states also received applications from unknown Republicans, and they weren’t confident the people who applied were pro-Trump delegates. In 2016, the RNC did not fully support Trump’s nomination, and some people booed, so the 2020 convention is seen as a chance for Trump to have the party’s full support.
Not every state experienced issues filling its delegates, though. J.R. Romano, chairman of the Republican Party in Connecticut, revealed that the state filled its representatives with no problem.
“Overwhelmingly, people were still interested in going,” said Romano. “I feel bad for the people of North Carolina; this would have been an economic windfall for any community.”
Romano was also critical of Gov. Cooper’s insistence that everybody who would have attended in Charlotte had to wear masks.