The man responsible for getting Democrats elected to the Congress this fall has a message for his party’s candidates: Stay away from the Democratic National Convention in September.
“If they want to win an election, they need to be in their districts,” New York congressman Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Reuters Washington Summit on Tuesday.
Israel emphasized that Democratic President Barack Obama’s poll ratings – which have hovered around 50 percent – have little to do with his stance.
“I don’t care if the president was at 122 percent favorability right now,” he said. “I think (candidates) should be in their districts,” rather than spend time at the convention, which will be in Charlotte, North Carolina, September 3-6.
“A trip to Charlotte may be interesting,” Israel said, “but why leave your districts?”
The Democratic convention, during which Obama will formally be nominated as the Democratic presidential choice, is viewed warily by some of the party’s candidates.
The gathering to fete Obama is a particularly sensitive issue for Democratic candidates who are in close races in states or districts where Obama trails Republican Mitt Romney in voter surveys.
For such candidates, four days of mingling with Democratic leaders could turn off independent voters before the November 6 election.
And those last two lines are exactly why Israel has told his candidates to stay in their districts. This has everything to do with Barack Obama’s falling popularity ratings in battleground states, regardless of the spin Rep. Israel puts on it.
This is excellent news. The less Democrats invading my fair city in September, the better. We’ve got enough here as it is.