Through a series of articles we call The State, the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Advocacy and Political Affairs team is providing analysis related to "the state of" various aspects of the 2020 campaign season, including the race for the White House and key elections around the country.
With the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention last week, it’s now time for the Republican National Convention to take center stage and deliver its message to the voters.
Both conventions have been forced to become virtual events due to COVID. The Democrats’ version had few technical hiccups. Republican convention planners are taking similar steps to ensure a smooth-running series of speakers over the next four days. Vignettes will include minorities, small business owners, front-line responders, former military leaders and current office holders.
It will be capped with President Trump accepting the party’s nomination on Thursday night, reportedly from the Oval Office of the White House. Like Trump’s actions over the last three years, this decision has also raised many eyebrows and cries of “foul!” from Democrats.
But before this happens, the Republican convention must deliver to the American people its vision of the next four years and why staying the course is the wise choice. Prior to COVID, this would have been a fairly easy task. Trump’s administration oversaw a strong economy, historically low unemployment, growing homeownership and a stock market that had set record highs. Passage of USMCA spoke of brighter days ahead as did his rhetoric with China.
All this has changed with COVID and the polls show many voters are thinking twice about sending Trump back to the White House for another four years. Thus, this is the challenge before the convention: To tell America that the best path forward is Trump-Pence and by doing so America can regain the footing it had only a few months ago.
Randy Dwyer is AFBF’s director of advocacy & grassroots development.