Here’s what else we know about the schedule and how the convention will work.
Who is speaking Thursday
President Trump: He will accept the nomination at the end of the night.
Ben Carson: The president’s Housing and Urban Development secretary, raising legal questions about whether government officials should be advocating for a president’s political campaign.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): He has been loyal to Trump and has his own reelection coming in November.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.): One of the few senators with potential 2024 ambitions who is speaking at the convention.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.): The top House Republican.
Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-N.J.): A former Democrat who switched parties recently as the Democrats impeached Trump.
Ivanka Trump: A White House adviser and the president’s daughter, whose appearance also raises legal questions.
Rudolph W. Giuliani: The president’s personal lawyer, who was a central figure in the Ukraine scandal that led to Trump’s impeachment by the House of Representatives.
Franklin Graham: A prominent evangelical.
Ja’Ron Smith: Another White House adviser, who is the highest-ranking Black official there.
Ann Dorn: The widow of a St. Louis police officer who was killed after a night of unrest in that city.
Debbie Flood: President of a business in Wisconsin.
Alice Marie Johnson: An activist whose life sentence Trump commuted after lobbying by Kim Kardashian West.
Carl and Marsha Mueller: The parents of an American aid worker killed by the Islamic State. A military operation that killed the terrorist group’s leader was named after Kayla Mueller.
Dana White: President of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
When is the Republican National Convention?
The public-facing part of the convention started Monday. It was originally scheduled to be four days, with speakers all day and into the evening. But the convention has been significantly pared down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The actual nomination happened Monday in Charlotte, and the events will end with Trump giving his acceptance speech on Thursday — although from the White House, not with his party in Charlotte. (There will be a crowd in person for the speech.)
Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, told The Post in an interview that she believes the convention will convey an optimistic and uplifting tone, which could be a difficult balance to strike in the middle of a pandemic and economic downturn for which the president is getting poor marks.
The Washington Post’s live coverage of the final night starts at 8 p.m.
Where is it?
A mix of places. A smaller group of party officials and delegates is meeting at a convention center in Charlotte, where Trump was officially nominated for a second term on Monday. Trump will deliver his Thursday night acceptance speech from the White House. Vice President Pence spoke Wednesday from Fort McHenry in Maryland.
When Republicans were worried that coronavirus-related restrictions would keep them from having large in-person events, they said they were moving to a city in another swing state, Jacksonville, Fla. But they later canceled events there, as well, when coronavirus cases rose.
Still, the New York Times reports that many speakers, wherever they are, will address a live audience.
Who will speak?
The convention speakers are usually a mix of party luminaries, rising stars and non-politicians whose stories exemplify something the party wants to highlight.
In addition to Mark and Patricia McCloskey from St. Louis, Kentucky teen Nicholas Sandmann, whose interaction with a Native American on the Mall went viral last year (and who later sued and settled with The Washington Post and CNN over coverage of it), addressed the convention, in an apparent jab at media coverage of the political right.
A number of Trump’s adult children spoke each night. On Thursday night, Ivanka Trump will speak, raising legal concerns, given that she is also a White House adviser. (The White House said she will speak in her personal capacity as the president’s daughter.) Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, who was a central figure in the president’s Ukraine scandal that led to his impeachment in the House, will speak Thursday.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke Tuesday, and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson will speak Thursday. That, too, is “a move that critics have argued further blurs the lines between the presidential campaign and official business,” The Post’s Seung Min Kim and Felicia Sonmez wrote.
Other politicians that have appeared or are scheduled to appear include South Dakota Gov. Kristi L. Noem, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Florida Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nuñez, and Sens. Tim Scott (S.C.) and Joni Ernst (Iowa), the latter of whom is in a tough reelection race. Each night has and will feature some of Trump’s most vocal supporters in Congress, such as Reps. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) and Jim Jordan (Ohio), as well as Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), Dan Crenshaw (Tex.) and Lee Zeldin (N.Y.) from the House, and Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.), Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Marsha Blackburn (Tenn.).
We also have heard or will hear from non-politicians who are popular on the right: the father of a Parkland, Fla., shooting victim who supports Trump; a former Planned Parenthood employee turned antiabortion advocate, Abby Johnson; Alice Marie Johnson, whose life sentence Trump commuted after lobbying by Kim Kardashian West; and the president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Dana White.
The Post reported that each night, Republicans planned to have a speaker who was born in Venezuela or Cuba to talk about their negative experiences with socialism, part of a strategy to cast Democrats in a similar leftist light.
Why is it in Charlotte?
Parties like to hold their conventions in swing states. Before the pandemic, the Democrats picked Milwaukee, hoping to win back Wisconsin after Trump flipped it red in 2016.
As for the Republicans’ choice, no state is shaping up to be as swingy as North Carolina this fall. The Democrats’ nominee, Joe Biden, is leading by six points in an average of high-quality polls from June and July in the state, although strategists on both sides warn that will tighten.
There’s a competitive Senate race in North Carolina that could help decide which party controls that chamber: Republican Sen. Thom Tillis vs. Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham. Gov. Roy Cooper (D) is running for reelection, although he’s doing well in the polls against Republican challenger Lt. Gov. Dan Forest. Democrats are also trying to flip the state legislature there.
There are a lot of reasons for both parties to focus on North Carolina in November, and Republicans are hoping to use this convention to launch all of that.
What actually happens at a convention?
When we’re not in a pandemic, there are meetings and gatherings and lobbying and partying. The main official business is nominating the party’s candidate.
Usually, thousands of delegates gather in an arena to do that. The delegation from each state is called upon, someone from the state extols its greatness and then announces how many delegates it is pledging for each candidate.
Democrats did that roll-call vote virtually. On Monday, Republicans voted in person among a much smaller number of delegates, a little more than 330 — six delegates from each state and territory.
What precautions are they taking for the coronavirus?
Attendees were tested for the novel coronavirus before they traveled to Charlotte, had their temperatures checked and symptoms tracked daily, and masks were handed out and required. (North Carolina requires masks in public.) Doctors have also been brought on-site, but there are no plans to test people on the premises regularly unless needed. (The Charlotte Observer reports, however, that local health officials say they plan to test everyone upon entering the convention, although those results won’t be immediately made public.)
Terri Rupar and Natalie Jennings contributed to this report.