If historical precedent is a guide, President Obama should be worried about the recent spate of Democrats who have declared that they won’t attend their own party’s national convention. But the lawmakers’ decision to stay home doesn’t have other Democrats reaching for the panic button yet.
Such defections amounted to an early alarm bell as recently as 2008, when a deluge of Republicans steered clear of the Republican National Convention lest they be associated with a then-deeply unpopular GOP. Three months later, a Democratic wave swept the White House and congressional elections.
Now Democrats are the ones abandoning ship. Already five House members — Mark Critz of Pennsylvania, Kathy Hochul and Bill Owens of New York, Nick Rahall of West Virginia, and Jim Matheson of Utah –- have joined Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana, and Claire McCaskill of Missouri in deciding that they won’t attend this year’s Democratic National Convention.