Republicans, Trump will cap split convention in Jacksonville

Unable to hold a full convention in Charlotte, North Carolina because of the possibility of Coronavirus restrictions, Republicans have officially decided to split their 2020 gathering, starting in Charlotte and finishing with President Donald Trump accepting the nomination in Jacksonville, Florida.

"We are thrilled to celebrate this momentous occasion in the great city of Jacksonville," RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said in a written statement.

The unprecedented shift came after Gov. Roy Cooper (D) of North Carolina refused to guarantee a convention without restrictions for the Coronavirus - something demanded by President Trump.

"Florida is honored to host this special event where we will celebrate the re-nomination of President Donald J. Trump," said Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) of Florida.

It was not immediately clear what kind of Coronavirus restrictions - if any - would be required of delegates in Jacksonville.

The divided convention - unheard of for either the Democrats or Republicans - will evidently require delegates and party officials to assemble first in Charlotte, and then go to Jacksonville for the President's acceptance speech.

The two cities are 380 miles apart.

For the press, the GOP move raises the question of whether there will be anything of note to cover in Charlotte - that may simply depend on whether President Trump shows up in Charlotte.

The President will accept the GOP nomination on August 27 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, which has a capacity of 15,000 for concerts.

Democrats are slated to hold their convention a week earlier in Milwaukee, but it's expected those events will be scaled back because of the virus outbreak.