Politics

Republican and Democratic conventions: Where to watch and how to have fun

A woman takes a selfie from the stage as preparations get underway for the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July 17, 2016. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media.
A woman takes a selfie from the stage as preparations get underway for the Republican National Convention at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio on July 17, 2016. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Cleveland, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media.
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Convention season is officially underway, and that means parades of politicians, boisterous speeches, party platforms, confetti, celebrities ... and playing Bingo from your couch.

Party leaders from both sides of the aisle will be convening for the biggest gatherings in politics leading up to the presidential election this November. But those of us who haven't been afforded a ticket to Cleveland or Philadelphia have plenty of options for following the mirth and the madness in the coming days. Here's a roundup of ways to follow the conventions from your living room (and have some fun while doing it):

Find the convention schedules

Plan your political people-watching ahead of time! The GOP's convention website features a full list of speakers over the next four days and a general outline of the planned events. 

The Democratic national convention, set for July 25-28, hasn't yet finalized its schedule, but you can find a preliminary rundown of the plans and speakers courtesy of NPR. 

Where to catch the conventions live

It won't be difficult to find an outlet that will be broadcasting or live streaming the events. 

KPCC will be airing live coverage of the Republican National Convention from 6-8 p.m. Monday night through Thursday, and for the Democratic National Convention July 25-28. 

On TV, major networks will all be covering the conventions, including cable news staples like CNN (which will have 24-hour coverage during its two-week convention special), Fox News, MSNBC and C-SPAN. Cord-cutters can turn to Roku, Sling TV and Apple TV to watch on their own devices.

Online, you can catch a live stream from C-SPAN, which will be broadcasting the proceedings in their entirety. CBS and Twitter have also partnered up to cover the conventions, with CBS live streaming video and Twitter accompanying it with live tweets.

You can also watch a hosted stream on PBS Newshour's YouTube channel.

Or just watch a direct stream from the Republican National Convention's YouTube channel below:

Video

Play Bingo

What's a political event without a good Bingo game?

CBS's "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" released a set of cards Monday that viewers can use to track any expected sightings — though, of course, many of the show's suggestions are clearly tongue-in-cheek. We're waiting on a Bingo card for the Democratic convention, which will likely be available by the time it kicks off next week, but in the meantime, the ones for the RNC include:

You can also play Bingo for the RNC courtesy of the L.A. Times, which features a few more likely predictions:

Drinking Games

For those who like a little alcohol-fueled interactivity with their politics, there's something out there for you as well. 

Time Out magazine laid out some rules for following the GOP convention that mostly amount to a boozy version of the above Bingo games — a swig of beer if Trump refers to "Crooked Hilary," a shot of tequila if he mentions "the wall" — but with a few bonuses:

Make yourself a martini when Scott Baio takes the stage, just because it’s probably the first time you’ve seen him since his Happy Days days.

Take a shot of tequila every time someone claims that “Mexicans love Trump.”

Finish the bottle if a delegate pledged to Trump votes against him.

And Complex magazine published its own drinking game, which is bound to leave players with nasty hangovers if any of these scenarios comes to pass:

Chug a Budweiser every time Trump says "Make America Great Again." Promptly spit it out, because Budweiser tastes horrible. Ponder the state of American beer.

Take a shot every time someone questions Obama’s “motives.”

Take a shot every time newscasters are left baffled by the proceedings.

Take a shot every time Trump mentions one of his casinos. Chug if the casino he mentioned has declared bankruptcy.

Take a shot every time a bald eagle cries.

Play responsibly, everyone.