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On April 2, the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the governing body for the United States Democratic Party, postponed its presidential convention due to the threat of the coronavirus pandemic. Originally, the convention was set to take place in mid-July. Being pushed back one month, it is now expected to take place in mid-August.
Joe Biden, the current frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, was vocal in the run-up to the announcement that the convention should be postponed. Reports indicate that both Biden and Bernie Sanders, the other presidential candidate, were consulted prior to the decision announcement.
The convention will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. “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,” said Democratic convention CEO, Joe Solmonese.
Sanders still in
The Sanders campaign has vowed to stay in the race for the time being. Thus far, he has won 39.7% of the delegates in the race and trails in the party’s popular vote count by 2.4 million votes.
While the campaign indicated that internal discussions took place to assess the way forward after Biden won a string of victories in early to mid-March which catapulted him to frontrunner status, Sanders shows no signs of halting his campaign for now. “Last I heard, people in a democracy have a right to vote and have a right to vote for the agenda that they think can work for America,” he said in an interview on April 1 in response to a question on the narrowing window for his candidacy.
Political events that have already been postponed or altered across the country include a host of primaries, campaign rallies for all major candidates, and a debate in Arizona in mid-March between Biden and Sanders that took place without a live audience.
In response to the new restrictions on public gatherings, the candidates are turning to digital platforms to publicize their policy proposals. With the coronavirus currently taking the spotlight, less time is being given to candidates and platforms, possibly shrinking the campaign season.
The Republicans already had their convention set for August in Charlotte, North Carolina, with no indication to change it and with Republican National Committee (RNC) spokesperson Rick Gorka claiming the party is “fully committed” to holding the convention as planned.
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