2020 Election Calendar & Coverage Tips for Journalists

2020 Election Event Dates and Tips for Journalists

Keeping up with election information is difficult in any cycle, let alone one with a global pandemic at the forefront.

Current events often shape election dialogue and debate stages, but they rarely disrupt the process; this year, both the primaries and conventions have been shuffled around, and questions still remain around what voting will look like come Election Day.

Here’s a quick glance at how the political race continues to evolve.

Upcoming Election Events

With the bulk of the primaries completed in the first half of the year, below is a list of the remaining election events for 2020.


  • July 11 – Louisiana primaries, rescheduled from April 4
  • July 12 – Puerto Rico Democratic primary, rescheduled from March 29
  • August 11 – Connecticut primaries, rescheduled from April 28


  • August 17-20 – Democratic National Convention, originally planned for mid-July
  • August 24-27 – Republican National Convention


  • September 29 – first presidential debate
  • October 7 – vice presidential debate
  • October 15 – second presidential debate
  • October 22 – third presidential debate

These events culminate with Election Day on November 3.

Dates are prone to change; stay on top of the latest event updates with an interactive calendar like this one.

The Conventions: DNC vs. RNC

From weddings and marathons to trade shows and food festivals, every type of event has been affected by the novel coronavirus.

The committees organizing the two national conventions are faced with a lot of uncertainty and a small window of time to work with, and are subsequently taking different approaches.

Recently announced to be a “Convention Across America,” the Democratic National Convention will be primarily virtual, but still based in Milwaukee, Wisc. Initially scheduled for July 13-16, the event changed venues, was pushed to August, and downsized due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Official convention business will be conducted remotely, but Joe Biden will accept the nomination in person. The event promises “multiple formats and mediums” along with curated content from across the country.

The Republican National Convention was originally set to take place in Charlotte, N.C. However, because of restrictions imposed due to the ongoing pandemic, the event will be split into two locations: official convention business will remain in Charlotte, while celebratory speeches and gatherings will move to Jacksonville, Fla., where President Trump will formally accept the party’s nomination.

Coverage Quick Tips

With so many dates and itineraries up in the air, it can be challenging to plan stories ahead of time. These tips will help your coverage stay agile.

  1. Take stock of official media resources, from convention logos to b-roll footage.
  2. Pay attention to the latest press releases to learn about speaker updates, agenda or format adjustments, and other major announcements.
  3. Use election reporting tools like Google Trends to stay on top of the newest data.
  4. Keep virtual event best practices in mind if you’re doing remote coverage or the event has an online component.
  5. Be prepared for last-minute changes and look for discrepancies; there’s often an interesting story layer behind what doesn’t happen.

Stay Caught Up With the Latest Press Releases

Our team can help you create a customized newsfeed to deliver the latest political campaign news releases to your inbox. Your PR Newswire for Journalists profile can be set up with the schedule and format that works best for your workflow and schedule.

Contact our team if you’d like help setting up an election-focused newsfeed.

Screenshot of PR Newswire for Journalists newsfeed for political campaigns news

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Erienne Muldoon is a senior customer content specialist for Virtual Press Office, PR Newswire’s trade show marketing solutions division. When she’s not advising clients on storytelling best practices, you can find her tweeting about Cleveland, PR, and video games @ECMuldoon.

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