Vulnerable lawmakers like Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill aren’t the only ones skipping the national party conventions — a bevy of star-recruit Senate candidates on both sides of the aisle are staying away, too.
Some candidates are opting to stay in their states and keep pressing the flesh. Republicans charge that Democrats from red states are trying to avoid being associated with President Obama.
• Arizona: Presumptive Democratic nominee Richard Carmona is not attending the convention. On the Republican side — where the primary is Aug. 28, during the GOP convention itself — Rep. Jeff Flake’s campaign has not yet committed to the convention. Businessman Wil Cardon does plan to attend after Aug. 28.
• Hawaii: Former Republican Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle will be “at home campaigning at that time,” according to her campaign.
• Montana: Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg is skipping the GOP convention — as is the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Jon Tester, both in favor of campaigning at home.
• North Dakota: Democrat Heidi Heitkamp is staying at home to campaign.
Though the moves have all been painted as candidates trying to avoid their own party leaders, ODemocratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Steve Israel has given the green light, declaring that candidates should be at home in their districts.