FAQ: What to know about the 2020 Democratic National Convention

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., arrive to speak at a news conference at Alexis Dupont High School in Wilmington, Del., Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Democratic party will formally nominate former Vice President Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention, but the coronavirus pandemic has changed the way the convention will be held.

Here’s what you need to know; we’ll update this as the convention goes on.

  • Q: When is it?
  • The convention was originally supposed to be held July 13-16 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but was delayed because of the ongoing pandemic.

    It will now be held entirely virtually Aug. 17-20.

    See the full schedule here.

  • Q: How can I watch?
  • The convention will be streamed live on the Democratic National Convention’s official YouTube channel between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. every night.

    In addition to the main event, there will be meetings of caucuses and interest groups leading up to the convention every night. Those who want to watch these meetings must RSVP through the convention’s website ahead of time.

    WTOP will also cover the convention online and on-air. Be sure to check back for the latest.

  • Q: What will happen at the convention?
  • Delegates from the Democratic Party will formally select their presidential candidate. Joe Biden is the presumptive nominee, and he has selected Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate. Both are expected to be formally nominated during the convention.

    This is also the time in which the party modifies and votes on its official platform, which is a road map of the ideals and policy goals for the party as a whole.

  • Q: Who will be speaking?
  • A wide range of guest speakers is lined up for the four nights of the convention.

    Highlights include: Former President Bill Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Former First Lady Michelle Obama, Rep. Jim Clyburn, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the nominees themselves and more. See a full list of speakers in the section below.

    Many of these guests will be speaking from satellite locations around the country, with a limited number of people attending the convention’s formal headquarters in Milwaukee’s Wisconsin Center.

    Some speakers will record messages ahead of time that will played during the convention.

  • Q: What's the full schedule?
  • Monday, Aug. 17

    • 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Council and caucus meetings of interest groups
    • 8 p.m.: Behind the Rhyme presents: Your Voice Your Vote
      • A Twitch-exclusive event aimed at younger voters featuring artists and media personalities discussing the issues on the table for the November election
    • 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.: Democratic National Convention Day One
      • Speakers: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Rep. Jim Clyburn, Convention Chairman Bennie Thompson, Sen. Doug Jones, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Former First Lady Michelle Obama.
      • Performances by: Maggie Rogers, Leon Bridges

    Tuesday, Aug. 18

    • 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Council and caucus meetings of interest groups
    • 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Behind the Rhyme presents: Your Voice Your Vote
    • 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.: Democratic National Convention Day Two
      • Speakers: Former Acting U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Former Sec. of State John Kerry, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, Former President Bill Clinton, Dr. Jill Biden

    Wednesday, Aug. 19

    • 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.: Meetings of interest groups
    • 7:30 p.m.: Bold Leadership: Women Governors Leading
      • A panel from the Democratic Governors Association featuring New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham
    • 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Behind the Rhyme presents: Your Voice Your Vote
    • 9 p.m. – 11 p.m.: Democratic National Convention Day Three
      • Speakers: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Gov. Grisham, Former Rep. Gabbrielle Giffords, Sen. Kamala Harris, Former President Barack Obama
      • Performances by: Billie Eilish

    Thursday, Aug. 20

    • 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Meetings of interest groups
    • 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.: #DemGovsGetItDone: Progress in Red and Purple states
      • A panel from Democratic Governors Association featuring Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear
    • 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Behind the Rhyme presents: Your Voice Your Vote
    • 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.: Pod Save America Live
    • 9 p.m. – 11 p.m. Democratic National Convetion Day Four
      • Speakers: Sen. Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, Atlanta Mayor Keish Lance Bottoms, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Sen. Chris Coons, Andrew Yang, Former Vice President Joe Biden
      • Performances by: The Chicks
Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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