(Aug. 24) The Republican Party formally nominated President Donald Trump for a second term in the White House Monday, one of the first acts of a GOP convention that has been dramatically scaled down to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Trump has sought to minimize the toll of the pandemic, but its impact was evident as proceedings began in Charlotte. Instead of the thousands of people who were expected to converge on this city for a week-long extravaganza, just 336 delegates participated in a roll-call vote from a Charlotte Convention Center ballroom.
The GOP convention is a crucial moment for Trump, who is trailing in national and battleground state polls and under intense pressure to turn the race around. Just 23% think the country is heading in the right direction, while 75% think it’s on the wrong path, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Many of the usual trappings of a convention were present on Monday, including signs designating each state and gift bags with Republican swag. But chairs on the ballroom floor were arranged with lots of space between them and convention organizers told participants to wear masks, though adherence to the rule was uneven.
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