The 2016 Republican Convention kicks off next week with meetings of the Rules and Platform committees in advance of the Convention’s July 18 start. We’ll look at the Platform process, how the Trump forces and their foes could use the Rules to impact the Convention, and the maneuvering already started over the 2020 Presidential nomination rules.

Modern conventions are scripted affairs, making adherence to the schedule crucial to getting maximum impact for the Convention’s messaging. That schedule calls for the Platform to be completed by July 14, with the Rules Committee meeting July 14 and having up to July 16 to complete its work. Adoption of the Platform and Rules are among the Convention’s first orders of business on July 18, and set the stage for whether the rest of the Convention will run smoothly. We’ll look at how the Convention’s first day should go.

Key to a smooth convention is organizers knowing who the 2,472 delegates are and how they got there. Republicans have both an allocation process to determine how many delegates are bound to a Presidential candidate for Presidential roll calls and a selection process to choose the individual delegates that often doesn’t involve the Presidential candidates at all. 

Donald Trump arrives in Cleveland with a clear majority of delegates bound to him. But some delegates have announced they’ll challenge the binding rules, both at the convention and in court. We’ll look at which rules and which procedures are likely to be contested and how the organizational chess match in the committees and on the floor is run.