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Milwaukee Hosts Republican National Convention for the First Time

Milwaukee Hosts Republican National Convention for the First Time

Wisconsin's Historic Moment as the RNC Shines a Political Spotlight on the Badgers State from July 15 to 18, 2024

July 9, 2024 4:56 PM CDT

By: Teri Barr

Wisconsin’s Historic Moment as the RNC Shines a Political Spotlight on the Badgers State from July 15 to 18, 2024

For the first time, the Republican National Convention (RNC) is being held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The event marks a significant moment as Wisconsin takes the national stage in this election cycle. Interestingly, Milwaukee is hosting its second consecutive political convention after being selected the site for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in 2020. However, the DNC was largely virtual due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Still, by hosting the 2024 RNC, Milwaukee is one of just 18 cities to host both the Democratic and Republican conventions. Learn more about the RNC here.

LISTEN! “Slice of Wisconsin:” the history of political conventions in the Badgers State

Political conventions have a long history, starting in the 19th century. It was the main way to select a candidate, but at that time, the nominee didn’t typically give an acceptance speech. This ended with Franklin D. Roosevelt’s nomination in 1932. 

New rules in 1972 gave primary election voters more power to determine the nominee. And though both major parties have made a few changes to the rules, the shift toward primaries is still considered the most democratic way of selecting a candidate. 

Conventions are now more of a celebratory event for the party and serves as a platform for officially nominating the party’s candidates for President and Vice President. It also includes the opportunity to make key decisions about the party’s political platform, a document outlining various beliefs and policy positions.

A common trivia question often arises during such events: Which city has hosted the most political conventions? The answer is Chicago, which has hosted the Republican convention 14 times since 1832 and will host the Democratic convention for the 11th time this summer.

50,000 attendees are expected to descend on Milwaukee for the RNC, July 15-18, offering a unique glimpse of Wisconsin to the rest of the country. The city is also set-up to play a pivotal role in the nation’s important political landscape this election.

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