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2008 republican national convention Balloons fall as Republican presidential nominee John McCain is joined by running mate Sarah Palin on stage after his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 4, 2008. (Photo: AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Election 2012: The Conventions Begin!

First up: The Republican National Convention in Tampa

By Andrew Liang | August 24 , 2012

The next stage of the 2012 presidential campaign begins on Monday. That's when the nation's Republican leaders and thousands of party faithful gather in Tampa, Florida, for the Republican National Convention. The convention lasts until Thursday.

The big events at the convention will be the official selection of Mitt Romney as the Republican presidential nominee and Paul Ryan and the nominee for Vice President. Ryan will be nominated on Wednesday, and Romney will be nominated on Thursday.

Here's how the nomination procedure works:

All of the delegates that Romney won during the primaries will pledge their support to Romney. Other Republican candidates who won delegates, like Rick Santorum, can pledge their delegates to Romney, who will then vote to support his nomination. Once the nomination vote is counted, Romney will become the Republican nominee. That status becomes official when he makes his acceptance speech on Thursday.

But there's more to the convention than the nominating votes and speeches.

The Republican Party will also adopt an official party platform for the 2012 election. The Republican platform is the party's positions on some major issues, including education, health care, and foreign policy. After the convention, Romney, Ryan, and other Republican candidates (both nationally and at the local level) will use the platform to campaign for office.

The convention is also the first chance Romney and Ryan have to lay out their vision for America to a national audience. Their speeches will be televised nationally.

William Harris, Chief Executive Office (CEO) of the Republican National Convention, is sure Romney will please voters.

“Having suffered through the longest sustained period of high unemployment since the Great Depression, Americans already know we can do better,” Harris said. “Next Wednesday, Republicans will lay out Mitt Romney’s plan to do just that.”

While the convention officially begins on Monday, it is already in the news.

Tropical Storm Isaac is churning in the Atlantic Ocean, and there's a chance it will hit Florida. The storm has already hit parts of the Caribbean, and Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Cuba are in Isaac's path. Meteorologists are predicting Isaac to strengthen to a Category 1 hurricane by the time it reaches Florida — which could be on the first day of the convention.

“There is still way too much uncertainty right now, and it’s too early to know what effect it could have in the U.S. and in Florida,” said Dennis Feltgen, spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami. “There is no immediate threat to the U.S. at all, but it is a concern, and we would urge folks to pay attention to this thing.”

The Scholastic News Kids Press Corps will be at the Republican National Convention and will have all the latest news from the convention floor — and about Isaac. Stay tuned to the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps Blog and the Election 2012 website for the most up-to-date stories, videos, and interviews from Tampa!

ELECTION 2012

Scholastic News Kid Reporters are on the campaign trail! Keep up with latest election news on the Election 2012 website.

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