By Cady Drell
Even though the approximately 300 Democrat candidates who announced their run for president (okay fine, but there were over 20) might make it seem like this election cycle has been going on for a very long time, in fact we're just beginning. We've had to sit through five different debates are just kicking off, and there are three more ahead (here’s how to watch them). Still, many of us who are following the 2020 election closely are already looking forward to the conventions, where we’ll find out for sure who is going to be running for president in the general election in November of next year.
Barring an early departure from the Oval Office or the unexpected surge of a challenger (so far, Bill Weld and Mark Sanford are the only Republicans to have announced an alternative Republican run), it seems likely Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee—in fact, he’s already kicked off his campaign with severe rallies and jabs at his direct competition. On the other side of the aisle, though, things could get ugly as some of the Democrats’ best and brightest compete to be the party’s nominee. The once-overcrowded Democrat field has dwindled down to a sizable 17 since the first few rounds of the debates, and the numbers promise to fall as requirements for eligibility to even appear in the debates get gradually more difficult for fringe hopefuls to achieve. Before we know it, America will have its clear choice between just a few, and then the the stage will be set for both the Democratic and Republican candidates to finally be announced at their respective conventions.
So when are these conventions, and how long must we wait for the sweet campaign cycle release that they’ll bring? Well, on that front, we have some bad news: We're looking at next summer for the official announcement of each party's nominee.
The Republican National Convention is scheduled to take place on August 24 and run through August 27 of 2020. In what may be considered the equivalent of thumbing one's nose, the event is going to be held at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, which happens to be the same city where Barack Obama was renominated back in 2012. It's also important to note that North Carolina is considered a swing state, and it swung right in the 2016 election.
The Democratic National Convention, meanwhile, is a little bit sooner—but we still have a long way to go. That will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at the Fiserv Forum, on July 13, 2020, wrapping up on July 16. The choice to host the DNC in the Brew City is an interesting decision for many reasons—Houston and Miami were also in the running to host, and Democrats lost Wisconsin during the 2016 election—but it could also reveal the party's confidence in turning the state blue in 2020 by. "The Democratic Party is the party of working people, and Milwaukee is a city of working people," said the DNC's chairman Tom Perez of the selection. "We saw in this last election what we can accomplish when we come together, invest, and fight for working people, and that was proven right here in Wisconsin."
So yeah, there’s quite a while to wait. But the good news is that it gives you plenty of months to spend learning more about the candidates before the primary elections start happening early next year. Time to get studying!
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