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Jul 20 2016
by Jenna Ciccotelli

Everything You Need To Know About the Republican National Convention

By Jenna Ciccotelli - Jul 20 2016

With the Republican and Democratic National Conventions taking place, it's likely that you have a lot of questions regarding the events. What exactly happens? When does it all go down? Don't we already know who the candidates are? Welcome to GOP Convention 101.

Honestly, what even are the National Conventions?

Both the Democratic and Republican parties hold National Conventions during election years. Essentially, the conventions are huge parties to crown a victor and thus announce the party's presidential nominee. They also serve as a meeting to plan the upcoming election season, which is known as the party's platform. According to USA Today, "the presidential and vice presidential nominees and other party leaders will speak."

The Republican National Convention is taking place in Cleveland, Ohio from July 18 to July 21.

Don't we already know who the nominees are going to be?

Sure. Based on the primaries and caucuses that have taken place across the nation since November, we know the presumptive nominees for each party. Of course, we say presumptive for a reason. The delegates haven't officially voted  yet -- that's what they're doing at the Convention.

The dele-whats?

The Republican party has 2,472 delegates, representing the 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. These delegates are elected through local and state elections or are handpicked by campaigns. According to ABC News, "the delegates include nationally-recognized elected officials, state party leaders, grassroots activists, campaign leaders and lots of just regular Republicans."  

At the Convention, delegates will officially vote for a presidential candidate. Many are bound to vote for a certain nominee based on the results of their state's popular vote. However, unbound delegates do exist. In some states, voting in the primary elections includes an option to let the delegates vote for a candidate at the convention.

How does someone win?

To become the official nominee, a candidate needs to receive 1,237 delegates. The amount of delegates each candidate receives is based off of their performance in state caucuses and primaries. The Republican party allows states to use either the proportional method or the winner-take-all method when awarding delegates.

To understand the proportional method, "imagine a state with ten delegates and three candidates. If 60% of the people supported candidate X, 20% supported candidate Y, and 20% supported candidate Z, candidate X would receive six delegates and candidates Y and Z would each receive two delegates."

At the convention, each state will announce the results of their vote during a process called roll call. Once a nominee receives 1,237 delegates, they become the nominee.

Hopefully this quick guide to the Republican National Convention helped you to understand the process behind one of the country's most important election year events.

Lead Image Credit: srikanta H. U via Unsplash

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Jenna Ciccotelli - Northeastern University

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