Democratic National Convention begins with speeches from Sanders, Michelle Obama

Ballotpedia's Daily Presidential News Briefing
August 17, 2020: The Democratic National Convention begins on Monday with speeches from Bernie Sanders, John Kasich, Michelle Obama, and others. The Trump campaign is launching a seven-figure digital ad campaign during the Democratic National Convention.


Notable Quote of the Day

“If we look at the history of modern conventions, it’s tempting to dismiss the large, in-person gatherings of power players from all around the country as pageantry. But if you look closer, you’ll notice that conventions have played an important role for different wings of the party, who may disagree with party leadership and want to generate their own media attention.

Granted, this has become harder to do over the years, especially as conventions have become more TV-centric and prepackaged. And that will likely be particularly true this year given the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean conventions have lost all meaning. Even if nothing is actually decided at the conventions, they still shine a spotlight on the parties, illuminating emerging factions and up-and-coming politicians, setting the stage for — and creating — the future of each party. That’s why it’s unfortunate that this year’s format has to be virtual — and why one should hope that it won’t be the new normal.”

– Julia Azari, associate professor of political science at Marquette University

Election Updates

  • The Demoocratic National Convention begins Monday with speeches from Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), former First Lady Michelle Obama, and others. The convention will take place virtually across four stages in New York City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, and Wilmington, Delaware. Votes on reports from the Rules, Platform, and Credentials committees were collected remotely from August 3-15. The results will be announced on Monday.
  • Joe Biden released his first campaign ad featuring Kamala Harris as his running mate on Saturday. The clip, which targets Latino voters in Arizona and Florida, is also the campaign’s first bilingual ad, using a mixture of English and Spanish in the narration.
  • Donald Trump announced on Saturday that his younger brother, Robert Trump, had died.
  • Trump is launching a large digital ad campaign on YouTube and other digital platforms, like Hulu, during the Democratic National Convention. The spending, which could reach $10 million, includes an ad on the main banner of YouTube for four days beginning on Tuesday and ad space on The Wall Street JournalThe Washington Post, and
  • The Police Benevolent Association, which represents 24,000 officers in the New York Police Department, endorsed Trump on Friday. The union’s president, Pat Lynch, said he could not recall the organization ever endorsing a president before.

What We’re Reading

Flashback: August 17, 2016

Donald Trump received his first classified national security briefing.

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