2020 Democratic National Convention

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2020 Democratic National Convention
2020 presidential election
U.S. Democratic Party logo (transparent).svg
Fiserv Forum 2018.jpg
The Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin will be the site of the 2020 Democratic National Convention
Date(s)July 13–16, 2020
CityMilwaukee, Wisconsin
VenueFiserv Forum
ChairNancy Pelosi
Total delegates3,979[a]
Votes needed for nomination1,990[1]
‹ 2016  ·  2024 ›

The 2020 Democratic National Convention is an event in which delegates of the United States Democratic Party will choose the party's nominees for president and vice president in the 2020 United States presidential election. The convention is scheduled to be held from July 13–16, 2020, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[2][3] Joe Solmonese, former President of the Human Rights Campaign, was named convention CEO in March of 2019.[4]

Site selection[edit]

Bids on the site for the convention were solicited in late 2017, and were made public in the spring of 2018. Las Vegas, Nevada later withdrew and decided to focus on the 2020 Republican National Convention, for which its bid was subsequently defeated by Charlotte.[5]

On June 20, 2018, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced four finalists for the convention site. Immediately following the announcement, the finalist city of Denver, Colorado withdrew from consideration due to apparent scheduling conflicts.[6]

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez announced on March 11, 2019 that Milwaukee would host the convention.[7]




With the exception of Milwaukee, each of the finalist cities was a past host of a Democratic convention. Denver hosted in both 1908 and 2008. Houston hosted in 1928. Miami hosted in 1972. In addition, both Houston and Miami have also previously hosted Republican National Conventions, with Houston hosting it once in 1992 and Miami having hosted both the 1968 and 1972 RNCs.

Other bids[edit]

Atlanta had previously hosted the 1988 convention.


Approximately 50,000 people are expected to attend the convention. 31 state delegations will stay in 2,926 Milwaukee-area hotel rooms and 26 delegations will stay in 2,841 hotel rooms in Lake County and Rosemont, Illinois. Another 11,000 hotel rooms will house volunteers, members of the media, donors, and other attendees.[14]

In advance of the convention, Milwaukee is planning an extension of its streetcar line. Organizers are also recruiting 15,000 volunteers.[15]


Role of superdelegates[edit]

Superdelegates are delegates to the convention who are automatically chosen by the party, rather than by the results of primaries and caucuses. While technically unpledged, many of them have informally pledged themselves to a predesignated front-runner in previous elections. During the 2016 Democratic primaries, most of these favored Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders.[16] The superdelegate system is controversial among Democrats, and supporters of both Clinton and Sanders have called for their removal in 2020.[17][18]

The Unity Reform Commission, created after the 2016 election, recommended that the number of 2020 superdelegates be drastically reduced. As of July 2018, the DNC plans to revoke voting rights for superdelegates on the first ballot. They will be able to affect the selection of the presidential and vice presidential nominees only if voting continues to another ballot,[19] which has not happened since 1952 for the presidential nomination and 1956 for the vice presidential nomination.[20]

Selection of pledged delegates[edit]

The number of delegates allocated to each of the 50 states and Washington D.C. are based on, among others, the proportion of votes each state gave to the Democratic candidate in the 2008, 2012, and 2016 presidential elections. A fixed number of pledged delegates are allocated to each of the five U.S. territories and Democrats Abroad.[21]

The rules stipulate that delegates from candidates who have withdrawn from the race will lose their right to attend and be replaced by delegates pledged to the designated front-runner. In the past, candidates would "suspend" their campaigns rather than officially withdraw in order to let their supporters have the "convention experience."[citation needed]

Legally-elected delegates pledged to candidates deemed "unacceptable" by the leadership of the party will be denied entry, as was the case in 1996 and 2012.[22][23] [24] [25][26]

Pre-convention delegate count[edit]

The table below reflects the presumed delegate count as per the 2020 Democratic primaries.

As of January 2020, the following overall number of pledged delegates is subject to change, as possible penalty/bonus delegates (awarded for each states scheduled election date and potential regional clustering) may be altered.[27]

Candidates who have suspended their campaigns without having received any superdelegate endorsements, as well as those who've suspended their campaigns and subsequently lost their endorsements to other candidates, are not included in the table below.

Pre-convention delegate count
Candidate First ballot
pledged delegates[27]
Presumed 2nd ballot
"soft" count,
including superdelegates[28]
Michael Bennet 3
Joe Biden 62
Michael Bloomberg 8
Cory Booker 18
Steve Bullock 3
Pete Buttigieg 11
Julián Castro 1
John Delaney 2
Tulsi Gabbard 1
Kirsten Gillibrand 2
Kamala Harris 20
Jay Inslee 4
Amy Klobuchar 8
Beto O'Rourke 1
Deval Patrick 0
Bernie Sanders 21
Tom Steyer 1
Eric Swalwell 1
Elizabeth Warren 20
Andrew Yang 0
Available delegates
Total delegate votes

Presidential and vice presidential balloting[edit]

Candidates who have received enough signed petitions from delegates will be permitted to have their names placed into nomination. Those who have not may not be able to receive any votes at the convention.[citation needed]

Since 1996, uncontested balloting has been done by a full roll call vote. In 2008, the balloting was stopped short by agreement of the two candidates (there was a "secret ballot" earlier in the day so delegates for the losing side, in this case, Hillary Clinton, could cast their votes). In 2016, there were attempts to do away with the roll call, but the Sanders campaign refused this idea.[29]

Due to problems with the scattering of votes during the 1972 and 1980 vice-presidential balloting, as well as threats to do so in 1984, 1988[30] and 2016, the nominee's choice will be nominated by voice vote.[citation needed]

There have been no multi-ballot conventions in 70 years in the presidential race and with the exception of the 1956 Democratic National Convention, none in the vice presidential vote as well.[citation needed]


  1. ^ The overall number of pledged delegates is subject to change as possible penalty/bonus delegates (awarded for each states scheduled election date and potential regional clustering) are not yet included.


  1. ^ "The Math Behind the Democratic Delegate Allocation - 2020". Thegreenpapers.com. Retrieved 27 December 2019.
  2. ^ "Exclusive: Democrats, anticipating heated primary, set earlier 2020 convention date". CNN. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  3. ^ Verhovek, John (March 11, 2019). "Milwaukee chosen as 2020 Democratic National Convention site". ABC News. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  4. ^ Glauber, Bill (26 March 2019). "Joe Solmonese named chief executive of 2020 Milwaukee Democratic convention". Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b Verhovek, John. "Charlotte to host the 2020 Republican National Convention", ABC News, July 20, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e "City of Milwaukee 1 of 3 finalists to host 2020 Democratic National Convention". FOX6Now.com. 2018-06-20. Retrieved 2018-07-01.
  7. ^ Barrow, Bill; Bauer, Scott; Moreno, Ivan (March 12, 2019). "Democrats: Milwaukee convention choice shows party values". Associated Press. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  8. ^ Glauber, Bill (August 22, 2018). "Selection committee for 2020 Democratic Convention will visit Milwaukee next week". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  9. ^ Ketterer, Samantha (August 16, 2018). "Houstonians rally around 2020 Democratic National Convention bid". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
  10. ^ "Cruise ship hotels, zoo parties and an NBA arena: Miami's Democratic convention pitch". miamiherald. June 27, 2018. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  11. ^ Sands, Darren (March 23, 2018). "Atlanta Will Bid To Host The 2020 Democratic National Convention". Buzzfeed News. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
  12. ^ Poe, Kelly (August 1, 2016). "Mayor Bell: Birmingham will seek the DNC again in 2020". AL.com. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  13. ^ Poe, Kelly (April 20, 2018). "Yes, Birmingham is again vying for the Democratic national convention". AL.com. Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  14. ^ Glauber, Bill; Beck, Molly. "2020 DNC: 31 delegations to stay in Wisconsin and 26 in Illinois". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  15. ^ Hauer, Sarah. "5 things Milwaukeeans can expect to see in the year before the 2020 Democratic National Convention". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  16. ^ Washington Week. "What are superdelegates? (And, yes, Republicans have them, too)", PBS, July 12, 2016.
  17. ^ Gabriel Debenedetti, Kaine calls for eliminating superdelegates: Hillary Clinton’s VP sides with Bernie Sanders in a fight that’s divided Democrats, Politico (November 15, 2017).
  18. ^ Bowden, John (December 7, 2017). "DNC leaders call for 'significant' cut in Dem superdelegates". Thehill.com. The Hill. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  19. ^ Herndon, Astead W. "Democrats Take Major Step to Reduce Role of Superdelegates", New York Times, July 11, 2018.
  20. ^ Levy, Adam. "A new, smaller role proposed for superdelegates", CNN, June 8, 2018.
  21. ^ "The Math Behind the Democratic Delegate Allocation 2020". thegreenpapers.com. Retrieved January 23, 2020.
  22. ^ "USA v. Khan Mohammed". U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  23. ^ "DNC claims Randall Terry is illegitimate; Gloria Allred demands equal time". Jill Stanek. 2012-01-31. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  24. ^ Preston, Jennifer (March 26, 2012). "Randall Terry Loses His Delegate to the Democratic Convention". The New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  25. ^ Tau, Byron (September 3, 2012). Convention vote expected to be unanimous for Obama. Politico. Retrieved September 4, 2012.
  26. ^ DeMillo, Andrew (2012-08-30). "Judge dismisses Wolfe's lawsuit against Ark. Dems". SFGate. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2012-09-07. Retrieved 2017-10-06.
  27. ^ a b c d "Democratic Convention 2020". thegreenpapers.com. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  28. ^ See Superdelegate endorsements
  29. ^ Stein, Jeff (26 July 2016). "How the DNC roll call vote managed to avoid impending disaster". Vox.
  30. ^ Riser, George C. (1 September 1992). "The Failure of Jesse Jackson's Vice-Presidential Quest: Sailing Against Political Tradition". Canadian Review of American Studies. 23 (1): 39–54. doi:10.3138/cras-023-01-03.