Pennsylvania Democratic Rep. Mark Critz (D-PA) has become the latest conservative Democrat to bow out of this year’s DNC convention in Charlotte. Yesterday, three West Virginia Democrats announced they will not be attending the party’s national convention in September.
Critz explained that he felt it was more important to spend his time campaigning. He faces a tough race in the April primary and now that his district has been redrawn he is not taking any chances.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin (D-WV), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) not have cited similar reasons for skipping the convention. In West Virginia, the president is down in polls and coming off an embarrassing primary where a federal inmate won 40 percent of the vote in opposition to him.
Republicans are flocking to redrawn districts all of over the country. Revamped Congressional districts from Texas to New York have forced many Democrats to campaign in unfamiliar territory with less liberal and moderate or conservative voters. The question now becomes: how many more Democrats will have to decide whether bowing out of the national convention and avoiding an appearance with the president is best way to keep their seats?
With freshly drawn congressional districts buoyed by the loss of nineteen statehouses in 2010, shellacking more seats in the house for Republicans appears more than likely. For Democrats these new districts may be the beginning of a fractured party where Democratic candidates will have to campaign on opposing platforms in more conservative districts.
The convention is just two months away, and it’s quite possible the list of Dems deciding to avoid the party’s convention may continue to grow.
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