In Cleveland Wednesday night, the Republican National Convention took an interesting turn when Texas Sen. Ted Cruz took the stage. So far, much of the Convention has gone according to script. Not so, once Cruz began his speech.
The former Republican presidential candidate and noted Donald Trump rival did as many expected: he withheld from endorsing Trump. But he also took it a step further by telling the delegates to vote “your conscience” in November, to which he received a booming chorus of boos from Trump backers.
Now, as the Convention enters its fourth day, here’s what to watch for.
1) Donald Trump Accepts The Nomination
This is his chance to shape the narrative of the week — which right now has too much focus (from Trump’s perspective) on his differences with Sen. Ted Cruz. It’s also his chance to take back the spotlight from protests and Cruz and take aim squarely at Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for President ahead of next week’s Democratic National Convention.
2) Ivanka Trump Takes The Stage
Trump’s children have been his fiercest advocates at the convention this year. Thursday night, his closest advisor among the group takes center stage. Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump’s oldest daughter, is scheduled to introduce her father Thursday in Cleveland.
Ivanka plays a key role in Trump’s businesses, but has also, for years, been right along her father’s side publicly. The most well known of Trump’s children, Ivanka’s speech is likely to be the most important by a Trump family member not named Donald J. Trump Sr.
3) What Is The Mood Among Delegates?
How are the hundreds of Cruz delegates (many of whom are technically pledged to Trump) feeling after Wednesday night’s provocative speech? While we heard the boos from the Trump supporters, we have yet to hear how many Cruz supporters will react.
Members of the Texas delegation looked shocked after Cruz gave his speech, but it appears at least a portion of Cruz supporters are happy with Wednesday’s outcome. Speaking to NPR, McShane O’Rourke, a Texas delegate, said he was happy that Cruz stuck to his principles and did not endorse his rival. But he also said Cruz hurt the greater Republican party with his speech. Will more delegates feel this way? Will this lead to a push for more support of Cruz, or will it backfire and burn his chances of a nomination in 2020? The delegates who speak Thursday should give us a better sense of the fallout from Wednesday night.
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