WASHINGTON (AP) -- Some Democrats in tough races are returning their invitations to the Democratic National Convention with a note attached: Thanks, but no thanks.
Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri is the highest-profile Democrat to announce she'll skip the September shindig in Charlotte, N.C. An Associated Press count indicates that at least 10 Democratic incumbents and front-running challengers will be no-shows.
All hail from conservative-leaning or toss-up states where
President Barack Obama could be a drag on down-ballot Democrats. Obama's nomination speech will be the climax of the Charlotte convention.
Republicans says the no-shows are evidence of Obama's toxicity and a harbinger of GOP success in fall races.
Democrats and their aides insist the decision has nothing to do with Obama. They point out that the convention comes during a prime campaigning period.