In the weeks leading up to the Republican National Convention, there was plenty of chatter over which members of the GOP establishment would be there, and who wouldn't. Recently, Ohio Gov. John Kasich was lambasted by presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's campaign for not attending the convention. But amid all the discussion about which Republicans are there or aren't, you might be wondering if there are any Democrats at the Republican National Convention this year.
The answer is: kinda yes, but not in any official sense, for the most part. The delegates who actually got an official ticket to the big show are all Republican. Under the official rules of the RNC, in order to get in, you have to be a delegate from a given state, and delegates are selected by members of the GOP. The odds that a state would send in an undercover Democrat as a delegate is pretty much nil. But according to the convention's official website, 50,000 people are expected to attend. So what about the other people strolling around the convention center, like media and volunteers?
This is where some light speculation weighted by logic comes into play. While you might be required to be a Republican to be a delegate at the convention, there is not such stipulation for volunteers. In fact, the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee is an Ohio nonprofit corporation with no political affiliation, and they request that volunteers leave their party affiliations at the door. So it's very possible that some Democrats decided to volunteer for whatever reason, and are currently helping GOP delegates find their way to the right elevator.
Then you have the press. While it can sometimes feel like a giant machine, the media is actually made up of individual people. Individual people who, while they hopefully try to remain impartial, nonetheless have their own views and opinions. Given the multitude of news organizations covering the RNC, and the political commentators that they attempt to cultivate from both sides of the aisle, it's incredibly likely that at least a few are Democrats.
There are also a few random stragglers. Since Kasich refused to attend the convention, Cleveland sent another representative to the RNC in the form of Democratic mayor Frank Jackson. Josh Kraushaar, politics editor at National Journal, tweeted that he bumped into former North Carolina Rep. Heath Shuler, a Democrat, at the RNC. And finally, we have Stephen Colbert, widely agreed to be a Democrat, who sneaked into the convention to pull a Hunger Games-themed stunt.
Finally, we have protesters. True, the protesting delegates inside the convention center are likely Republican, or at minimum were Republican until Trump secured the nomination. But there have been other protests throughout the convention. A Code Pink protester interrupted Jeff Sessions's speech, and while Code Pink is mainly a nonpartisan organization focused more on peace than party affiliation, it's possible they were a Democrat.
Who knows, there could be other Democrats scattered among the Republicans at the RNC. As the week goes on, they just might pop out and say hello.