The US Republican Party national convention has been put back by a day after a tropical storm threatened to reach hurricane strength as it headed towards the host town in Florida.
Tropical Storm Isaac, which battered Cuba on Saturday night killing at least four people in Haiti, is making its way towards Tampa where the party is due to meet.
A hurricane warning was in effect for the Florida Keys and parts of the state's southwest coast and the Republican Party announced that severe weather warnings had postponed the start of its four-day gathering.
The proceedings will now start on Tuesday afternoon instead of Monday.
Tens of thousands of Republicans will be in Tampa for speeches, parties and the formal nomination of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney as the candidate to take on President Barack Obama in the November 6 presidential elections.
Mr Romney said the delay was necessary given the potential risk to people's lives.
"The safety of those in Isaac's path is of the utmost importance. I applaud those in Tampa making appropriate schedule changes," he said.
Thousands of convention delegates are housed in hotels along a coastal barrier island, which is likely to bear the brunt of the storm, and a decision was to be made on Sunday whether it will be necessary for them to move to higher ground.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, a Democrat, had earlier sought to calm jitters about the weather, saying the storm might bring heavy rain to Tampa on the first of the four-day convention but would be followed by sunny skies.
US Vice President Joe Biden meanwhile cancelled a trip to Tampa and other Florida cities because of the approaching storm, President Obama's Democratic campaign said.
As Mr Romney prepared to be officially appointed the Republican candidate, the race for the White House gathered pace.
Both Mr Obama and the former Massachusetts governor have been talking tough on the economy in recent days, while the latest polls currently show President Obama just ahead of his rival with 47 points to 44.
James D Boys, a US political expert at King's College London, told Sky News the drama around the delayed Republican convention was helping to keep up interest in the elections and the Republicans.
"By truncating the events slightly, it's probably done the Republicans some good," he said.
According to US pollsters Real Clear Politics, there are 11 states that could go either way, including Florida.
Tom Rogan of Republicans Abroad said Mr Romney's recent selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate was also boosting momentum in the race, saying the Wisconsin Republican "excited people".