CINCINNATI — If local Democrats and Republicans can agree on one thing, it’s that this year’s national conventions are both challenging and critical in catching the eye of undecided voters.
The third night of the Democratic National Convention ended Wednesday night, and soon Republicans will get their turn on the national stage. With COVID-19 changing the face of the race for the White House, both parties are facing the unprecedented challenge of trying to sway voters from afar.
“I’m honored to go and represent Ohioans in this effort,” said Hamilton County GOP chairman Alex Triantafilou.
This will be his fifth Republican National Convention. This year, Triantafilou will be one of only five from Ohio making the trip to Charlotte, North Carolina. He’s one of only about 300 delegations attending nationwide.
“My personal role - still really to be determined. The preparation has been fairly intense,” Triantafilou said. “There’s two weeks full of daily health questionnaires. There’s been a COVID-19 screening. They’ve been in regular communication with me directly.”
Across the aisle, Hamilton County Clerk of Court Aftab Pureval is heading to the Democratic National Convention for the first time.
“These opportunities tonight are so important because these chances to connect with voters are so few and far between during this epidemic,” Pureval said.
Both men believe their party’s message will make the key difference in this swing state and think what this year lacks in face-to-face campaigning will have to be made up at largely virtual events like these.
“These nights for the Democrats to have this platform, to talk about this message, our ideas is more important during an epidemic – where you can’t just go up and knock on someone’s door or you can’t just go to a church festival or walk in a parade and reach out and connect with voters,” Pureval said.
Triantafilou said he’s hopeful this year’s RNC will push forward a message, something he said the Democrats haven’t done.
“What they’re lacking is a coherent vision for the future,” he said. “I hope and I expect our party and our president will offer a more coherent view of what we can accomplish in a second term.”