The Convention Kicks Off – The New York Times

The Convention Kicks Off - The New York Times


The D.N.C. also began airing a TV ad today in Wisconsin accusing Mr. Trump of making the health crisis worse by holding a rally in the state. “Now Trump is coming to Wisconsin for a political stunt that puts you at risk,” the ad’s narrator says.

Over the past few months, the public has increasingly lost faith in the president’s handling of the virus, surveys have shown, while Joseph R. Biden’s polling lead over Mr. Trump nationally has generally grown since May. Critiquing the president’s handling of the virus — and demonstrating that the Democrats have a better plan to deal with it — will very likely be a central theme of the convention.

But as my colleague Lisa Lerer pointed out in this morning’s newsletter, a number of substantive questions remain: How will the Democratic Party bridge the increasingly stark divide between its left wing and its more centrist establishment? And will Mr. Biden and his newly selected running mate, Senator Kamala Harris of California, convince voters that they have a coherent vision for how to govern, if they do in fact defeat Mr. Trump and Mr. Pence in November?

Four years ago, Night 1 of the D.N.C. drew upward of 25 million viewers on broadcast and cable news stations, with the final night of the event — when Hillary Clinton delivered her acceptance speech — topping 33 million TV viewers. The YouTube livestream that evening peaked at roughly 250,000 simultaneous viewers.

But tonight, under very different circumstances, how many people will be watching?

With livestreams a fact of life nowadays, and people still mostly stuck at home, it would be no surprise if the YouTube numbers were higher this year. But what about TV? Will tens of millions of viewers be willing to tune into a ceremony with less pomp and circumstance, and far briefer speeches?

Most of the speakers tonight will deliver pithy remarks of roughly two minutes each, according to organizers.

So don’t expect lengthy perorations from Mayor Muriel Bowser of Washington or Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, who have grabbed the nation’s attention over the past few months as they sought to contain the spread of the coronavirus, and both of whom will have the virtual floor early in tonight’s broadcast.



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