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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

100 days to Tampa's Republican National Convention

Today marks the 100-day mark before the 2012 Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum in Tampa. We've got a package to get you prepared and in the know:

Key tasks left to do: There is still plenty of work to do in five key areas. The convention needs a security perimeter, a protest area and a transportation plan. The Tampa Bay Times Forum is looking at weeks of construction. And officials are talking about preparing for the swampy heat of late August. Story here.

Who will get the mic? Organizers are just starting to tackle one of the trickiest and most important elements of the convention — selecting the speakers It's a matter of juggling monumental political egos, precious little time for maximum TV exposure, appeasing people whose help is needed, and ensuring the best message comes through to win over swing voters just starting to focus on the presidential contest. Story here.

New graphic series launches: Convention Wisdom will tell the story of the 2012 Republican National Convention in facts and figures. In this first installment, we look at the unpredictable and often stormy weather of August in Florida. Check it out.

Key facts: We break down the key dates ahead with a by the numbers look at the planning. Story here.

The nominee: The media may still frequently refer to Mitt Romney as the "presumptive" or "likely" Republican nominee, but he's the nominee. Gingrich and Santorum have suspended their campaigns, Paul has mostly stopped campaigning, and nobody is speculating about a dramatic floor fight any longer. Story here.

[Last modified: Saturday, May 19, 2012 9:30am]


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