A new national poll suggests that a majority of voters oppose holding the national political conventions in person next month amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Fifty-four percent of people polled in a new USA Today/Suffolk University survey agreed when asked by the pollster if “holding a big traditional gatherings in person, as the Republicans plan, is a mistake because the coronavirus pandemic makes that reckless and dangerous.”
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Twenty-seven percent of those questioned agreed that “holding big traditional convention gatherings remotely, as the Democrats plan, is a mistake because it will cost them an opportunity to generate enthusiasm and organize supporters.”
Last month, the Republican National Committee (RNC) chose Jacksonville, Fla., to host part of this summer’s party convention, after largely abandoning the city of Charlotte, N.C., over disagreements on coronavirus-related crowd restrictions.
President Trump and Republican officials were angered after Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina, a Democrat, said he wasn’t prepared to guarantee the RNC a full-fledged convention with an arena packed with party officials, delegates and activists due to health concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic. While the party will still hold some convention meetings in Charlotte, the major events will take place in Jacksonville.
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But complicating matters, earlier this week city officials in Jacksonville mandated the wearing of masks in order to prevent the spread of the outbreak. The move comes as the state deals with a surge in new coronavirus cases. Just over a third of Republicans questioned agreed that holding a big traditional convention was a bad idea.
The Democratic National Committee announced last week that they would be holding a vastly scaled-down and mostly virtual convention in Milwaukee. Just over a quarter of Democrats said that it was a mistake to hold a mostly virtual convention.
The USA Today poll was conducted by Suffolk University June 25-29, with 1,000 registered voters nationwide questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s overall sampling error is 3.1 percentage points.