(USA Today) Political conventions are expensive. They draw thousands of protesters. They require Pentagon-like security and — as Republicans are learning this week — they can be quickly derailed by weather events and natural disasters. Nevertheless, the quadrennial conventions retain their privileged place on the nation’s political calendar. Even as broadcast networks scale back their coverage, both parties will spend millions to stage them, 15,000 credentialed members of the media will show up, and cable channels will give them wall-to-wall coverage. Why? Because people still watch.
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