Republican Convention 2016: All Your Questions Answered

PHOTO: William Miranda positions balloons in preparation for the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena, July 15, 2016, in Cleveland.PlayMark J. Terrill/AP Photo
WATCH What Donald Trump Hopes to Accomplish at the RNC

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who Will Be At The Convention?

2. Who Won’t Be At The Convention?

3. What Do We Know About The Schedule?

4. How Does Donald Trump Actually Get Nominated?

5. Who Is Mike Pence and How Did The VP Decision Go Down?

6. What’s Left Of The Anti-Trump Movement? Is It Completely Dead?

7. What Will Security Be Like At The Convention?

8. Who Are These Delegates And How Did They Get Chosen?

9. Tell Me Some Fun Facts!

1. Who Will Be At The Convention?

  • The presumptive nominee: Donald Trump will likely formally accept the nomination Thursday night. He does not have to be in attendance before that.
  • Trump’s family: Most of his children are slated to speak during the convention: Donald Jr., Eric, Tiffany and Ivanka.
  • The VP candidate: Mike Pence needs to be voted on and confirmed by the floor delegations. He will likely speak Wednesday night.
  • House and Senate leaders: Paul Ryan will preside over the convention. Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy will also be there.
  • Trump's former rivals: Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry and Scott Walker will be at the convention.
  • Other notable speakers include: Tom Cotton, Rudy Giuliani, Joni Ernst, Jeff Sessions, Newt Gingrich, Mary Fallin, Rick Scott.
  • 2. Who Won’t Be At The Convention?

  • Both living former GOP presidents: George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.
  • Trump's former rivals: Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich will not be there, although Rubio will be speaking by video. Kasich will be in Ohio but not inside the convention hall.
  • Past GOP tickets: Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin and John McCain will not be attending. Romney has been a vocal critic of Trump, Palin says Alaska is too far away and McCain is in a tight senate race.
  • Vulnerable senators: Kirk (IL), Ayotte (NH), Blunt (MO), Toomey (PA), Johnson (WI).
  • 3. What Do We Know About The Schedule?

  • Donald Trump will be nominated on Tuesday in a roll call vote of the states and territories.
  • Trump will speak on Thursday night, and Mike Pence will speak on Wednesday night.
  • Monday: Make America Safe Again (Melania Trump, Joni Ernst, Scott Baio, Tom Cotton, Jeff Sessions, Rudy Giuliani.)
  • Tuesday: Make America Work Again (Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Mitch McConnell, Tiffany Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ben Carson.)
  • Wednesday: Make America First Again (Mike Pence, Ted Cruz, Newt Gingrich, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio (via video), Eric Trump.)
  • Thursday: Make America One Again (Donald Trump, Ivanka Trump, Reince Priebus, Mary Fallin.)
  • 4. How Does Donald Trump Actually Get Nominated?

  • First, Trump must demonstrate the support of a majority of delegates in eight states in order to be nominated on the floor. A supporter will give a short speech nominating him.
  • The presiding officer starts a roll call vote of the states in alphabetical order.
  • Each state will announce the aggregate vote from their state as the delegates are bound. The secretary will repeat back the tally and record it.
  • Once every state has voted, the chair will announce the tally and declare Trump the winner of the Republican presidential nomination.
  • Delegates have the right to object if they believe their delegation chairperson announced their vote incorrectly. If they object, the chairperson must call the roll for that state and re-announce the state’s tally.
  • If there is only one candidate placed into nomination for vice president, then the convention will move to nominate that candidate by acclamation. This is usually how it works.
  • 5. Who Is Mike Pence and How Did The VP Decision Go Down?

  • What He Does Now: 50th Governor of Indiana (elected 2012, inaugurated 2013). Pence was expected to face a tight race for re-election.
  • What He Used to Do: From 2001 to 2013, Pence was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He was also chairman of the House Republican conference and of the House Republican Study Committee. In 2006, he ran to be minority leader of the House but lost to John Boehner. Pence previously worked as an attorney in private practice and also hosted a talk-radio show and a TV show in Indiana.
  • What He’s Known For: He came under fire for signing his state's "Religious Freedom" bill into law on March 31, 2015. Critics say the law gives businesses a license to discriminate against gays by citing religious views as a reason to deny them service. Pence eventually said he would "fix" the bill to ensure it would not allow for discrimination. He also took some heat for comments in a closed-door meeting likening the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act to the 9/11 terror attacks. He later apologized.
  • On Second-Guessing Pence: Sources close to Trump say the presidential candidate grew increasingly frustrated throughout the day Thursday with the news reports leaking his choice of the Indiana governor as his running mate. Trump was even faced with questions about Pence by supporters during closed-door fundraisers in California Thursday afternoon, adding to his frustration and leading him to hesitate, sources say. But at that point, Pence was already in New York. He then had phone interviews with two different Fox News programs: In one, he said he hadn't "made a final, final decision," but in the other he said that he wasn't changing his mind. Sources tell ABC News that it was only after Trump spoke with his leadership team that he decided to stick with the Pence pick.
  • 6. What’s Left Of The Anti-Trump Movement? Is It Completely Dead?

  • Almost dead, but not completely. Leaders have abandoned efforts to change the rules to allow any delegates to vote as they choose. But a handful of Republicans have still been working around the clock in recent days, insisting that all delegates are already unbound –- even under the current rules. That’s where things could get messy on the convention floor this week.
  • Dane Waters, spearheading the effort, told ABC News not to expect the roll call to be "some quiet little rodeo."
  • But top Republican officials insist that all delegates are bound under the current rules and that their votes will be counted according to how they are bound, even if delegates try to go rogue. The current rules allow for individual delegates to object and force a recount in their states if they believe their vote was announced incorrectly. But the presiding officer could also gavel the convention forward, ignoring the objections.
  • 7. What Will Security Be Like At The Convention?

  • Approximately a third of Cleveland police –- 500 officers –- are assigned to the convention area.
  • Roughly 2,500 officers from outside areas have been brought in to help and can detain people, but any official arrests will be by local police.
  • Police Chief Calvin Williams and Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy said that over the past year they table-topped every imaginable security scenario and that the attack on law enforcement in Dallas has impacted their planning. They declined to get into specifics but offered their condolences to everyone in Dallas touched by the attack. Still, Williams stressed officers are "prepared for anything and everything" that could potentially happen. Clancy said there is "no specific credible threat" to the RNC.
  • Cleveland Municipal Court will have extended hours to deal with any increase in arrests.
  • The event zone is 1.7 square miles in downtown Cleveland. The secure zones include the Quicken Loans Arena, known as “the Q,” and the convention center and is managed by the Secret Service.
  • Ohio is an open-carry state so, as long as state laws are followed, a person can carry a gun in the event zone (not in the secure zone). Note that the banned list of items above includes water guns, umbrellas with metal tips, drones ... and tennis balls.
  • 8. Who Are The Delegates And How Did They Get Chosen?

  • There are 2,472 total delegates from all 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia.
  • The delegates include nationally-recognized elected officials, state party leaders, grassroots activists, campaign leaders and lots of just regular Republicans.
  • Most were selected through multiple levels of local and state conventions, elected directly on the ballot, or hand-picked by the campaigns themselves.
  • All of the delegates will cast their votes for candidates according to how they are bound based on the results of their state’s primary or caucus –- or for the candidate of their choice if they are unbound.
  • Although not all delegates are bound to Donald Trump, over 1,237 of them are bound to him on the first ballot, so it is virtually impossible for him not to get the nomination.
  • 9. Tell Me Some Fun Facts!

  • The Q’s ceiling is home to 125,000 balloons and 1,000 pounds of confetti (RNC)
  • There will be approximately 1,200 ancillary events throughout the week at local venues and attractions. (RNC)
  • The host committee has contracted for more than 16,000 hotel rooms, nearly 95 percent of which are within 35 miles of downtown Cleveland. (RNC)
  • Cleveland expects 50,000 visitors, including 15,000 journalists. (RNC)
  • The Q is known as the home of the NBA's Cavaliers and also was the site of the first GOP presidential debate.
  • This is the third GOP convention to be held in Cleveland, with prior ones in 1936 (Landon, lost to FDR) and 1924 (Coolidge).
  • This is the 41st Republican convention -– the first was in Philadelphia in 1856.