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Trump moved the convention from North Carolina to Jacksonville, Florida because he wanted a packed house and Charlotte had distancing rules. 

But senators are backing out and masks are back in play. So is public sentiment.

Many Republicans Call Trump's Florida Rally 'Reckless'

On July 1, Newsweek reported As Biden Lead Grows, Many Republicans Call Trump's Florida Rally 'Reckless'.

A USA TODAY/Suffolk University poll found Biden had a 12-point advantage, with 53 percent asked intending to back him and 41 Trump.

Convention Poll Question

The pollsters asked people for an opinion on this statement: "holding big traditional gatherings in person, as the Republicans plan, is a mistake because the coronavirus pandemic makes that reckless and dangerous.

Overall 54 percent of respondents and 36 percent of Republicans asked said this came closest to their view.

Money Woes in Two Cities

Please consider How the Republican Convention Created Money Woes in Two Cities

The abrupt uprooting of the Republican National Convention from Charlotte to Jacksonville has created a tangled financial predicament for party officials as they effectively try to pay for two big events instead of one.

Tens of millions of dollars have already been spent in a city that will now host little more than a G.O.P. business meeting, and donors are wary of opening their wallets again to bankroll a Jacksonville gathering thrown into uncertainty by a surge in coronavirus cases.

In Jacksonville, fund-raisers are describing the process as the most difficult they have ever confronted: Florida has been setting daily records for new virus cases, freezing money as donors wait and worry about the safety risks of the pandemic.

By the time Mr. Trump decided to move the convention, almost all of the money raised by the Charlotte host committee had been spent on things like salaries, insurance, prepayments on contracts, and other expenses.

Senator Grassley Will Skip the Convention

"I'm not going to go. And I'm not going to go because of the virus situation."

Five Senators Will Skip the Convention

Flashback June 10

Trump Pence Team Photo Op June 10

Vice President Mike Pence deleted a Tweet showing the campaign team, packed together for a photo-op, none of them wearing

"Stopped by to see the great men and women of the Trump-Pence Team today!" the tweet read. "Thank you for all of the hard work, keep it up!"

Campaign Trail Flashback June 23

On June 23, Trump returned to the campaign trail in Arizona in a packed church despite a record outbreak of the the virus.

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For details, please see Trump's Campaign Visit to Arizona Church is Irresponsible at Best

Trump Wants Packed Convention Halls

Now, despite record outbreaks in the US, Trump wants packed convention halls.

Trump even moved the convention to Florida after North Carolina would not change its Covid distancing rules.

Deaths be Damned

Trump does not care about risks. He needs the adulation of a cheering crowd.

On June 29, Jacksonville, announced the Convention Will Now Require Face Masks.

The mask order is almost certain to rankle Mr. Trump, whose demands for a traditional, packed rally forced the move earlier this month to Jacksonville from Charlotte, N.C., in the first place.

Mr. Trump did not immediately respond to the announcement. But as he has pushed states to reopen their economies, he has shown an ability to bend local regulations to his will. Officials in Tulsa, Okla., rescinded a curfew ahead of the president’s rally there earlier this month after Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he had discussed the curfew with the mayor, a Republican.

Jacksonville Doesn't Want the Convention

A UNF poll reveals Opposition to the Convention.

  • Among respondents, 58%, strongly or somewhat oppose Jacksonville hosting the RNC, with 42% supporting it.
  • When asked how concerned they were about COVID-19 transmission if a large number gathered for the RNC in Jacksonville, 71% were very or somewhat concerned.
  • 61% were very or somewhat concerned about protests and social unrest during the RNC in Jacksonville.
  • 56% of respondents disagree that the RNC will bring positive media attention to Jacksonville.
  • 79%, indicated they are somewhat or very concerned about the pandemic in general, while 67% said they are very or somewhat concerned about contracting the virus themselves.
  • “National nominating conventions are polarizing events, and unsurprisingly the levels of support for Jacksonville hosting the RNC varies dramatically by partisanship,” Dr. Michael Binder stated, director of the Public Opinion Research Lab. “Under the backdrop of a global pandemic that appears to have come more fervently to Florida, the opposition to this event being hosted locally seems much more concerning. Voters were also asked about their general level of concern regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effects.

Convention May Not Happen

FDA Commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, who was appointed to the post by President Donald Trump, isn’t ready to sign off on a clean bill of health for August’s Republican National Convention.

Two days ago Forbes reported Trump Official Says It's 'Too Early To Tell' Whether GOP Convention In Florida Can Happen Safely

Key Facts

  • Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, Hahn said it’s “too early to tell” if Jacksonville will be safe to hold the convention on the planned Aug. 24-27 dates.
  • Jacksonville is now one of the hotspots for coronavirus transmission in the U.S., leading the city to issue a mask mandate starting last week for public and indoor locations.
  • The president was unhappy with what he felt were overly strict social distancing guidelines in North Carolina, leading to a public feud with the state’s Democratic governor before the GOP pulled much of the convention from Charlotte; the city will still host some of the business aspects of the convention because of contractual obligations.
  • Trump’s recent public events, including a rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Independence Day celebrations at Mount Rushmore and the White House, have been mask-optional, as many of his supporters have argued that mask-wearing should be a matter of individual choice—not government mandate.

Trump Trailing in Florida

Trump has trailed in all but one recent Florida polls, a string of about 30 polls The most recent Fox News Poll shows Biden with a 9 point lead. That was from June 23 so it's getting a bit stale.

With such a cavalier unconcern for Covid in a state filled with senior citizens, it's no wonder Trump is trailing.