While excitement is building for a Democratic Party convention capped by Barack Obama’s historic acceptance speech before a sold-out, 75,000-seat football stadium, the GOP convention the following week is shaping up to be a considerably more staid affair, marked by the conspicuous absence of many of the usual convention attendees.
Republicans aren’t exactly planning to avoid the convention in droves. But compared to past conventions, lawmakers, lobbyists and candidates aren’t beating a path to St. Paul either.
Of the 12 Republicans running in competitive Senate races–five of whom are incumbents–only three have said they will be attending convention. Six are definite no-shows, and three are on the fence.
“Nobody likes a funeral,” said a Senate Republican press secretary who declined to be identified, citing “the overall climate of general malaise about the party” as the reason for hesitance on the part of Republicans.