The DNC convention this year is going to turn out to be a serious opportunity… for ticket scalpers. The list of folks who won’t be coming from the Left side of the aisle continues to grow. We already saw US Senator Joe Manchin, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall taking a pass. We later reported that Mark Critz had … err.. scheduling conflicts. And now, long time friend of Hot Air the Lady Logician checks in from Utah and finds that the state’s only prominent, national level Democrat is otherwise occupied on the date of the big shindig.
Today’s domino….Utah Rep. Jim Matheson.
Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) will skip the Democratic National Convention, making him the latest in a string of conservative Democrats to take a pass on the party confab.
All have stated pressing business back in the district and that is not completely false. Every single one is facing a challenge for their seat. Some challenges (Matheson and Manchin) are closer than others (Owens and Hochul), but the challenges are tighter than they would have normally been just because of the down economy. Couple that with the party association that they share with a President who is growing increasingly UNpopular with voters and you can see why the delegates that also have to face the voters themselves are taking a step or 5 away from the top of the ticket.
So what prompted this? A family emergency? The upcoming marriage of a family member? Apparently not.
“I’ll be spending my time this summer and fall doing my job in Congress and visiting with and listening to people in Utah,” Matheson told The Daily. “I won’t be traveling to North Carolina.”
Matheson is running in the most heavily Republican district of any Democrat in the House — the newly drawn district would have given President Obama just 41 percent of its vote in 2008. He’s routinely broken with his party, voting against their healthcare reforms as well as climate change legislation, though he’s said he’ll vote for Obama in the fall.
At this point, it’s honestly surprising that Matheson is willing to publicly admit he’ll be voting for Obama, but I suppose there are some rivers one simply can not cross. There’s something to be said for a guy who can win on a ticket in that part of Utah with a “D” behind their name, but it’s never a sure thing. And clearly he doesn’t want to be associated with the big party in September if he plans on keeping his seat.
What will this do to his fundraising? Stay tuned and we shall see.