TAMPA, Fla. — Mitt Romney’s quest to formally win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination may come two days earlier.
Plans are underway for Romney to be nominated Monday — not Wednesday as previously thought — because of a potential threat from Tropical Storm Isaac and concerns about a possible disruption during the roll call vote from Ron Paul supporters at the Republican National Convention next week.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is scheduled to speak to the convention at 10 p.m. Monday. There was no immediate word Friday what the schedule change would mean for Haley’s speech.
Having the nomination on Monday is a change in the script from previous conventions, with the formal nomination on the eve of the acceptance speech. It is a formality, and Romney will still deliver his acceptance speech on Thursday evening, but the change would carry significance because Romney could accept general election money sooner.
“The roll call will take place on Monday,” said Jim Dyke, a convention spokesman, who dismissed suggestions that the schedule had changed. “We will go through the roll call in alphabetical order all the way through.”
As soon as Romney officially becomes the party’s presidential nominee, he can have access to the general election money he has spent months raising, putting him on the cusp of tapping into a significant financial advantage for the final two months of the race.
The convention schedule, according to discussions underway among party officials here, has as much to do with a desire to keep an orderly convention next week as it does with Isaac, the storm expected to develop into a hurricane as it moves toward Florida.
The roll call vote is also coming Monday to get the official business of the convention out of the way, aides said, so it does not distract from the broader themes of the convention. The campaign had hoped that the television networks would cover the convention Monday because Ann Romney is delivering her marquee speech that evening, but so far the networks have declined.
Some Paul supporters were pushing to make their voices heard during the roll call vote. Paul, the libertarian Texas congressman whose presidential bid fell short, won a majority of delegates from Iowa, Minnesota and Nevada, but not enough state delegations to require that his name be placed into nomination.
While Paul’s advisers have worked behind-the-scenes with the Romney campaign for months, several supporters have signaled their interest in making their admiration known for Paul on the convention floor. The Romney campaign has worked through most of the concerns, but leaned toward officially calling the roll of delegates Monday, when television networks were not planning to broadcast the convention to diminish the potential for any fireworks.
Republican officials said that schedule of the roll call vote could resolve two potential problems: from Paul’s supporters and the winds and rain of Isaac.
Staff writer Andrew Shain contributed