Who Attends The Republican National Convention? The Event Isn't Open To The Public

The Republican National Convention is about a month away, and it's shaping up to be a lively affair. It was reported on Friday that dozens of Republican delegates are trying to figure out a way to dump Donald Trump at the convention and nominate someone else, and while that effort is unlikely to succeed, the fact that it's even being discussed will add an element of surprise and uncertainty to the convention. But let's back up a bit: Who attends the Republican National Convention?

On the one hand, the convention's attendees will come from all walks of life. Elected officials, party activists, delegates, security officers, the media, support staff, donors, and lobbyists will all be meandering around the Quickens Loans Arena, where the convention will take place, over the course of those four days in late July. But it's probably more helpful to think of the convention as a closed affair. You can't buy tickets, it's not open to the public, the Secret Service is providing security, and journalists need to be credentialed in order to get in.

Why is the convention so closed-off? Well, it's important to remember why national conventions even take place to begin with. Despite the fact that they've evolved into high-profile media events that command days of television coverage, that isn't the purpose they were intended to serve. Quite the opposite, in fact.

The Republican National Convention is basically an internal meeting that the GOP holds every four years in order to prepare for the presidential election. It's where the Republican Party decides on its official policy platform and, more importantly, formally nominates its candidates for president and vice president. The Democratic National Convention serves the same purpose, and so does any other party's national convention.

This means that the bulk of attendees at the convention will be people who are intimately involved with the Republican Party — in other words, politicians. The most important among them will be the 2,500 Republican delegates, who come from all 50 states and will be responsible for actually voting on and nominating the party's presidential and vice presidential candidates. In addition, Republican officeholders and former officeholders, chiefs of staff, donors, strategists, campaign managers, and other assorted politicos will also be skulking around. Lastly, the convention's host committee estimates that there will be about 15,000 members of the media amidst the 50,000 convention attendees.