Due to the drama and bitter competition in the GOP race right now, many Republicans are considering skipping out on the GOP Convention. With the race so tight between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump and with Trump threatening riots if he doesn’t win the nomination, some Republicans consider it in their best interests to stay at home rather than be associated with the drama breaking out in their party.
One of the politicians who seems committed to not attending is former presidential hopeful, Jeb Bush. When asked by CNN if he planned to attend the convention, Bush said, “No.”
Many of these politicians who are considering not attending the convention in Cleveland are already in tight re-election contests at home. New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte said that it was “unlikely” that she would attend as she is facing a tough bid for winning a second term in office. "I've got a lot of work to do in New Hampshire, I have my own re-election and I'm going to be focusing on my voters in New Hampshire,” Ayotte said. Richard Burr, a senator from North Carolina, shared the sentiment. "I'm up for re-election," he said. "I'm more valuable outside of Cleveland than inside of Cleveland."
For many of those considering not attending, it is a way to distance themselves from the tough dilemma facing the GOP. Staying at home keeps the politicians from being too closely associated with either candidate in the bitter race, something that could negatively affect how voters in their home states view them. Skipping the convention would also help moderate Republicans by creating a buffer between them and nominees who could alienate some of the supporters in their districts. A senior House Republican leadership aide supported this statement by saying, "I think if you are in a competitive district that's smart [to not attend.]"
These comments stress the enduring rifts that are present in the Republican Party as Trump, Cruz and Kasich vie for the GOP nomination. As the race becomes closer to its climax at the convention, the contest looks as if it will only get more intense and bitter.