Nine of 12 targeted Republicans running in the most competitive Senate races this fall are either skipping the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., or have not decided whether to attend.
Among those who will not attend are Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska, who is not close to presumptive presidential nominee Sen. John McCain of Arizona, and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who is a McCain loyalist. Stevens and Collins will use the convention week to focus on their campaigns.
Also sending regrets is former Rep. Bob Schaffer of Colorado, running for the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Sen. Wayne Allard.
Six others -- Sens. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, John Sununu of New Hampshire, Elizabeth Dole of North Carolina and Gordon Smith of Oregon and challengers John Kennedy of Louisiana and Rep. Steve Pearce of New Mexico are still on the fence. Their spokesman offered responses ranging from "there are no plans yet" to "no decisions have been made."
By contrast, most Democrats in those races are either planning to attend the party's late August convention in Denver or are leaning toward attending the event that will formally make Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois the party's nominee for president.
They're not giving McCain even token support, either. Few Republican members of Congress are giving him money now that he has secured the nomination.
Basically, you're going to see a sham of a convention in St. Paul. The Republican Party is running away from the nominee and doing whatever they can to secure their seats.