Three top West Virginia Democrats are skipping this year's Democratic National Convention


Senator Joe Manchin participates in a news conference at the US Capitol. Manchin will not attend the DNC this year.


Mark Wilson

Three prominent West Virginia Democrats announced that they will be skipping the Democratic National Convention this fall, in an attempt to distance themselves from President Obama, CBS News reported.

Democratic US Senator Joe Manchin, Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, and Congressman Nick Rahall have all opted out of attending the DNC in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the party will announce its official re-nomination of President Barack Obama, the Charleston Gazette reported

All three politicians are facing upcoming reelection battles, according to the Gazette. 

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Though West Virginia tends to be a Democratic-leaning state, its recent primary vote — in which a federal inmate whose name appeared on the ballot received 41 percent of votes to Obama's 59 percent — showed that the state is increasingly dissatisfied with the President, CNN reported.

The politicians' decisions come after increasing pressure from Republicans to declare whether or not they support Obama, according to the West Virginia Metro News. Congressman Rahall has announced his backing of the President, but Manchin and Tomblin have thus far avoided getting behind Barack Obama. 

“As [Gov. Tomblin] has said, he has serious problems with both Governor Romney and President Obama," Tomblin's campaign spokesman Chris Stadleman told the Metro News. "The Governor feels that his time is best spent working in West Virginia to move our state forward instead of attending a four-day political rally in North Carolina.”

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"I intend to spend this fall focused on the people of West Virginia, whether that's representing them in my official duties or here at home, where I can hear about their concerns and ideas to solve the problems of this great nation," Manchin said in a statement, according to CNN. "I will remain focused on bringing people together for the next generation, not the next election."

The West Virginia Delegate Selection Plan rules suggest that delegates have to declare who they plan to support by a certain deadline, which reportedly was this Tuesday, according to Metro News.  

Republicans in the state have been quick to jump on the three Democrats for avoiding the DNC.

"We all know the only reason they're refusing to attend the [Democratic] Convention is they're afraid to tell the people of West Virginia who they support for president, and any attempt to suggest otherwise is political spin aimed at purposefully misleading the voters," the state's GOP said in a statement, CNN reported. 

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