(CNN) – For the next four days, the eyes of the political world will be on Tampa, Florida, the site of the Republican National Convention. And though politics will be the name of the game, it's a safe bet that religion will also play a major role. The convention opens with a prayer from a Hispanic evangelical leader and closes with a benediction from a Catholic cleric who's sometimes called "America's pope."
In between, balloons will drop on the first Mormon to be nominated by a major political party to be president of the United States. Here are eight ways faith will matter this week. What did we leave out? Let us know in comments and we'll expand our list as warranted.
Tampa, Florida (CNN) - Former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist of Florida will speak at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, three Democratic officials confirmed to CNN Monday.
The move follows his endorsement of President Barack Obama on Sunday. Crist cited the president's leadership following the economic collapse and surrounding health care, as well as his disagreements with the GOP platform as reasons for his backing.
CNN's GUT CHECK | for August 24, 2012 | 7 a.m.
– n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle
Editor's Note: This is a special morning edition of CNN's Political Gut Check which will come out twice a day for the duration of the political conventions.
BREAKING: EERIE SIMILARITIES: ISAAC FOLLOWS TRACK OF KATRINA, EVACUATIONS ORDERED FOR GULF COAST… Thousands in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama were being told early Monday to leave their Gulf Coast homes ahead of the arrival of Tropical Storm Isaac as forecasters warned it was gaining strength as it followed the same path Hurricane Katrina took seven years earlier.
The tropical storm was expected to make landfall late Tuesday or Wednesday, Katrina's anniversary, as a Category 2 hurricane with winds of at least 96 mph.
HEADS UP: CNN and Time reveal new FL & NC polls today at noon exclusively on the CNN/TIME Convention Floor Pass app
Tampa, Florida (CNN) – Is the tea party changing the Republican Party from the inside - or selling out to the GOP?
As Republicans prepare to officially roll out Mitt Romney as their party's presidential nominee at the Republican National Convention this week, major tea party groups and figures have descended on Tampa, Florida, to schmooze with party bigwigs and rally for Romney.
Washington (CNN) – South Carolina officials head to federal court on Monday to defend a controversial new voter identification law, dismissing suggestions the requirement would deny tens of thousands of people, many of them minorities, access to the ballot.
A weeklong trial will kick off in Washington before a panel of three judges who will decide whether the law should take effect. It is one of several legal challenges to voter identification laws nationwide.
(CNN) – When President Barack Obama's campaign announced plans for a full-court press while Republicans hold their convention in Tampa, Florida, this week, some veteran political watchers marked the end of an era.
After all, as much as there has ever been accepted "rules" of presidential politics, it was once a given that the opposing candidate ceded the convention week to his rival - it was the polite thing to do.
(CNN) – As the Republican National Convention begins to get underway, Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama have relatively quiet days on the campaign trail Monday.
Romney spends Monday at his home in Belmont, Massachusetts, while Obama and Vice President Joe Biden attend meetings at the White House.
The political scene in Tampa, Florida, however, is bustling as the RNC prepares to kick off its main events on Tuesday. See more details after the jump.
Tampa, Florida (CNN) Nevada billionaire and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam, are getting ready to create more political buzz. They have decided to attend this week’s Republican convention, CNN has learned.
They are expected to arrive in Tampa on Monday, one source with knowledge of their plans told CNN, and will undoubtedly draw a lot of attention.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world. Click on the headlines for more.
CNN Poll: Which candidate is better on the issues?
President Barack Obama has a big advantage over Mitt Romney on social issues and a smaller margin on foreign policy, but according to a new national survey the Republican challenger has the edge on the economy, issue number one with American voters. A CNN/ORC International poll released Sunday also indicates there are a lot of issues where neither candidate has an appreciable edge, and many of them – including welfare, taxes, health care, and Medicare – have been fodder recently for both presidential campaigns.
CNN: Breaking rules: Obama, Romney try to rain on each other's parade
When President Barack Obama's campaign announced plans for a full-court press while Republicans hold their convention in Tampa, Florida, this week, some veteran political watchers marked the end of an era. After all, as much as there has ever been accepted "rules" of presidential politics, it was once a given that the opposing candidate ceded the convention week to his rival - it was the polite thing to do.