Vulnerable Democratic congressmen are finding all kinds of different ways to distance themselves from unpopular President Barack Obama.
They disagree with him over issues ranging from healthcare to the environment, Politico reports. About 25 Democratic House members are expected to vote in favor of a Contempt of Congress citation against Attorney General Eric Holder.
In addition, more and more Democrats are announcing they will skip the party’s September convention. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, even urged congressional candidates to campaign in their districts rather than joining the confab.
Candidates in conservative districts are worried that an association with Obama could mean electoral death. One congressman who has abandoned Obama is West Virginia Rep. Nick Rahall. “I have disagreed with previous presidents on a number of issues, as I have with this president,” he told Politico
Rahall has taken Obama to task over climate change and coal mining, crucial issues for his state. “It’s just a matter of elections getting more difficult these days,” he said. “You have to inoculate yourself for what’s going to come.”
In conservative districts and states, to be identified with Obama represents a major problem for Democratic candidates. “They’re running two different races,” a top Democratic strategist told Politico, referring to Obama and Democratic congressmen. “His path to re-election is not their path to re-election. . . . In places where he’s helpful, they’ll embrace him. In places where he’s not helpful, people will distance themselves from him.”
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