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Delegates are traveling to the Republican convention in Milwaukee to nominate Donald Trump as their presidential candidate. They are confident that he will return to the White House. Any questions?

Q: Do you have reason to trust?

A. Yes, they are united and passionately supportive of Trump, who is ahead in the polls, while Democrats lack unity and are wracking their brains over whether President Joe Biden should even be their candidate.

Q: Is there any doubt that Trump was nominated by acclamation?

A. No. He did it with all his victories in the primaries and selected delegates who are convinced that Trump can and will “Make America Great Again.”

Q: Will important decisions be made at the congress?

A. No, not in terms of decisions about the presidential nomination or the party platform, which have already been finalized and are intended to reflect Trump’s current positions rather than the conservative ideology of the past. Party conventions have become staged television shows, like professional wrestling – entertaining for those who are captivated by the performance, but no doubt about all the staged moves.

Q: Will it be the same at the Democratic National Convention next month?

A. The Democrats also wanted a made-for-television event, without debates over difficult decisions or issues, as is the case at modern party conventions. Since Biden also won the primaries and won virtually all the delegates, it looked like everything was planned in advance. Now it doesn’t look like that.

Q: What happened?

A. The debate.

Q: So will the Republican National Convention be a coronation of Trump, not only as king of the Republican Party, but once again as the designated ruler on the road to the presidency?

A. Republican delegates believe so. And if the election were held this week, Trump would win comfortably in the Electoral College. But a lot could still happen at home and abroad that could sway some voters one way or the other before the November 5 election.

Q: Do preferences really change a lot during campaigns?

A. Usually a little. Sometimes a lot. Michael Dukakis had a 17 percent lead over George HW Bush in a Gallup poll in July 1988. Bush won 41 states with an overwhelming majority.

Q: Could things change so much this time?

A. That’s questionable, as much of the country is firmly on one side or the other. Still, a small percentage of voters in key states could make the difference.

Q: What could change the race?

A. The Democrats could switch to a new candidate, improving or destroying their chances. Trump could tone down his rants and consolidate his lead, or he could snatch defeat from his grasp with wild rambling. And we don’t know what unexpected events lie ahead.

Q: Will the Vice President’s decisions have a big impact?

A. Probably not. Even if a running mate gets negative attention, it usually doesn’t make a difference. In that 1988 race, Bush chose a little-known senator from Indiana named Dan Quayle for running mate, a reportedly disastrous choice. Bush cruised to victory.

Q: Was the Republican National Convention less planned in advance back then?

A. Yes, of the many Republican and Democratic conventions I’ve covered, this was one of the most interesting in terms of breaking news, especially for my coverage when Quayle’s nomination was announced as a surprise in the middle of the convention. There was news to report, not just a TV show to discuss.

Q: Was Quayle’s selection really a surprise?

A. Yes. He was mentioned in speculation, but not considered a favorite among the better-known candidates. Even Quayle didn’t know about it until Bush called an outdoor rally in New Orleans, the city of the convention, an hour and a half before his choice was announced. Quayle fought his way through the rally crowd and arrived on stage breathless, without a prepared speech. A “surprise” would be completely contrived today. A pre-fabricated convention is safer, but not as interesting or authentic.

Jack Colwell is a columnist for The Tribune. Write to him at The Tribune or email [email protected].