Watch CBS News

Several Swing State Democrats Skipping Philly

By Tal Kopan

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) -- As the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philadelphia this week, some of the members of the party in the toughest races across the country will be staying home.

Several Democrats in tough, swing-state races are also steering clear of the DNC this week, saying they have campaigning to do in their home states.

It's a reprise of last week, when many of the high-profile lawmakers in the Republican Party skipped the GOP convention and their nominee, Donald Trump.

The Democrats looking to flip Senate seats in Arizona, Wisconsin, Florida and Missouri are all skipping the convention, as is the woman running to hold Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's seat in Nevada. And the Democrat hoping to take back the governor's mansion in North Carolina will also stay home.

Former Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold's campaign confirmed to CNN that he would be campaigning in his state this week. Feingold holds a polling advantage over current Sen. Ron Johnson, who was one of the few GOP senators to speak at the RNC last week.

READ: As Democratic Convention Nears, Excessive Heat Settles In

Florida Rep. Patrick Murphy, who is challenging Sen. Marco Rubio, is also skipping Philly. His spokeswoman Galia Slayen said while Murphy supports Clinton, it was "important to be here in Florida, hearing from voters" and campaigning. Rubio appeared at the RNC only in a brief video message supportive of Trump.

Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto will also be campaigning at home, according to The Hill. Kirkpatrick is looking to challenge Arizona Sen. John McCain, and Masto will be looking to defend Reid's seat. Both are in states with large Hispanic populations, a demographic that Democrats are especially looking to turn out against Trump and for Clinton. McCain skipped the RNC.

Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, who is challenging Sen. Roy Blunt, is staying in Missouri as a "scheduling decision," his spokeswoman Anne Feldman told The Kansas City Star. Blunt also skipped the RNC.

And North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper will also stay home, his campaign confirmed. Cooper is challenging Gov. Pat McCrory as he deals with fallout for signing a controversial anti-transgender bathroom bill that caused the NBA to pull next year's All Star Game out of the state.

READ: Anti-Clinton Protesters Converging On Democratic National Convention

Some competitive Senate candidates will be at the DNC. Illinois Rep. Tammy Duckworth's campaign confirmed she will not only go to the convention, but speak, tentatively on Thursday, when Hillary Clinton will accept the presidential nomination. Duckworth is looking to unseat Sen. Mark Kirk, who is considered one of the most vulnerable incumbent GOP senators. Kirk skipped Cleveland and has said he will not vote for Trump.

Former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, who is challenging Sen. Rob Portman in November, will also attend as a member of the Ohio delegation, his campaign said. He will not speak. Portman did speak at the RNC in Cleveland.

Massachusetts Gov. Maggie Hassan will be in Philadelphia for part of the convention, her campaign said, but she is not listed as a speaker.

None of the missing candidates have been outspoken critics of Clinton, unlike some of the Republicans who were missing in Cleveland last week. And it is not uncommon for candidates to skip the quadrennial confab in favor of campaigning in their home state, as Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill did in 2012.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.