A voter’s guide to the Republican National Convention

This year’s Republican National Convention is set to seal the bargain for Donald Trump. But the RNC Convention is a lot more than merely picking a presidential candidate.

The future of Republican Party will be decided when party leaders and delegates gather in Cleveland July 18 -2 1. Many predicted the 2016 RNC Convention would be a full-out disaster for Trump, but it’s shaping up to be better than expected.

An impressive listingof Republican leaders, new and old, have signed on to speak at the convention, according to a list procured Thursday by the New York Times . Even one-time opponents Sens. Ted Cruz( R-Texas) and Marco Rubio( R-Fla .) have signed on to speak( the latter via video ). Infamous Indiana University basketball coach-and-four Bobby Knight, who famously threw a chairduring a game in 1985 and was once arrested for assault, will also address the convention.

The Republican Party, which once seemed to be slightly embarrassed by Trump, is slowly coming to terms given the fact that the contentious real-estate tycoon will be the GOP nominee for chairwoman. The hope of acontestedconventionfor the Never Trump movement is in the distant past. Any remaining doubt over Trump’s electability is likely to be extinguished( at the least in the short term ), by a New York Times/ CBSpoll that procured Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton locked in a dead heat for the first time such elections cycle.

The 2016 Republican National Convention will likely be one of the most unconventional conventions in recent history. As in the past, delegates will vote on credentials, the party platform, and most importantly, make official their party’s nominee. But Trump has promised a “different kind of convention, ” and there’s evidence to show that he’ll stick to his word.

Over the course of four days, we’ll hear speeches from both establishment Republican like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell( R-Ky .) and rising stars like Sens. Joni Ernst( R-Iowa) and Tom Cotton( R-Okla .). Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel will also speak. Party old-timers such as former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will stand for applause is again. Benghazi will be the sole focus of a whole night. And brace yourself for a presentationon former President Bill Clinton‘s history of sexual improprieties.

Expect some last-minute surprises, disputes, and tensions to originate at this year’s RNC Convention. There’s an energy and vigor in Cleveland that hasn’t existed for a generationthanks largely to the Cleveland Cavaliers giving the city its first athletics championship in more than 50 years. Attempts to take down a LeBron James banner from the Quickens Loan Arena, the site of both the NBA finals and the RNC Convention, were widely rejected.

Recent shootings in Dallas and Orlando won’t induce the RNC shy about their position on handguns. Security anxieties have mounted ahead of the convention. There’s Matthew Jansen, an RNC delegate from York County, Pennsylvania, who plans on carrying a 9mm Glockat the convention. A biker gangof Trump supporters have promised to patrol the arena. While the U.S. Secret services has placed a ban on firearms inside the arena, protestors will be allowed to carry handguns near the arena.( Cleveland Mayor Frank G. Jackson told reporters Wednesday that Ohio’s open-carry laws prevent him from placing a more thorough prohibit on handguns .) Finally, legions of naked girls holding mirrors will pose outside the arena for photographer Spencer Tunick.

The Daily Dot will be there covering the convention, protests, and more. So, what should we all be prepared for during the course of its big Republican shindig? Here’s everything you need to know.

What’s the schedule like?

The convention opens on July 18. The first night will be the “Night of Benghazi, ” featuring speakers like perimeter patrol agents and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Sen. Cotton is also expected to speak about the military and veterans.

The second day will feature the “roll call of the states, ” during which Trump’s name will be officially placed in the convention. To get a rough idea of what that’s like, check out the video of the 2012 RNC Convention below 😛 TAGEND

[ youtube https :// www.youtube.com/ watch? v= Lz2k9sbmwTE? feature= oembed ]

Speakers on Day Two are a melange of influential Republican figures such as Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Senate Majority Leader McConnell, and former Bush administration Attorney General Mike Mukasey, who lately came out against Clinton’s employ of a private email server on Fox News Business Network.

There’s also Trump offspring like Tiffany Trump and Donald Trump Jr. Dana White , commissioner of UFC, the nation’s largest mixed martial art promotion company, is also expected to speak.

On Day Three, expect Trump’s vice presidential picking, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, to speak. Sen. Cruz will also speak. Golfer Natalie Gulbis, a Trump friend and advocate, will also speak on this night.

The last night of the convention is usually when the nominee speak, so expect the focus to be on Trump himself. Other speakers include Ivanka Trump, Peter Thiel, and RNC President Reince Preibus.

When does Trump get nominated?

There’s been some supposition about a last-ditch effort to prevent Trump from earning the nomination. As this infographic by the Wall Street Journal details, there are several steps the Rules Committee can take to block Trump’s nomination on the first election. But after a test referendum and some backroom bargains, that scenario seems next to impossible.

Who won’t be coming to the convention?

Plenty of prominent Republican are swearing off the convention. Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney says he can’t subsistence Trump because of the candidate’s “trickle-down racism“and vowed to avoid the convention, as did Rep. Trey Gowdy( R-S.C .), chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. Neither Bush Sr. or Bush Jr. are expected to attend, but former Clinton opponent Bob Dole will make an appearance.

As pointed out by Vox, Republicans in tight Senate races such as Sens. Kelly Ayotte( R-N.H .), Pat Toomey( R-Pa .), Mark Kirk( R-Ill .), and Ron Johnson( R-Wis .) likely won’t make an appearance.

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