Democrats delay nominating convention until week of Aug. 17

The Democratic National Committee is delaying its presidential nominating convention until the week of Aug. 17 after prospective nominee Joe Biden said he didn’t think it would be possible to hold it in mid-July because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Convention CEO Joe Solmonese confirmed the decision in a statement Thursday.

“In our current climate of uncertainty, we believe the smartest approach is to take additional time to monitor how this situation unfolds so we can best position our party for a safe and successful convention,” Solmonese said.

Biden on Wednesday night told NBC late-night commedian Jimmy Fallon that he doubted “whether the Democratic convention is going to be able to be held” on its original July 13-16 schedule in Milwaukee.

“I think it’s going to have move into August,” Biden said.

Those comments were the furthest Biden had gone in predicting a delay for the convention, which marks the start of the general election campaign. The coronavirus pandemic is forcing Democrats and Republicans to take a close look at whether they’ll be able to move forward as planned with their summer conventions.

Republicans plan to gather Aug. 24-27 in Charlotte, North Carolina. They are expressing confidence they can pull off their convention as scheduled, but party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel still allows for the possibility that the pandemic could upend GOP plans.

Neither Democratic nor Republican leaders want to sacrifice the boost that can result from an enthusiastic convention gathering. President Donald Trump thrives on big rallies and has obviously missed that part of his routine amid the coronavirus outbreak, reluctantly turning the Rose Garden and the White House briefing room into substitutes. A traditional convention, with a nationally televised nomination acceptance speech, could be even more critical for Biden, who has been relegated recently to remote television interviews from his Delaware home, unable to draw the kind of spotlight that a sitting president commands.

Tyler Barker
Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can Follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com