McCain to skip GOP convention

McCain to skip GOP convention
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Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainThe Hill's 12:30 Report Senate gets to work in August — but many don’t show up Rand Paul’s Russia visit displays advancement of peace through diplomacy MORE (R-Ariz.), who is facing perhaps the toughest reelection race of his career, will skip the Republican presidential nominating convention in Cleveland in July.

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McCain says he will be focusing instead on his own race against Democratic Rep. Ann KirkpatrickAnn KirkpatrickKey primaries in August will help shape midterms Latina Leaders to Watch 2018 Gold Star father attacked by Trump steps up role in Dem primaries MORE. He also has to worry about a late primary, which is scheduled for Aug. 30.

“I have to campaign for reelection, and I have always done that when I’m up,” he said. “We have a late primary in Arizona.” 

Recent polls show McCain and Kirkpatrick deadlocked, despite McCain’s nearly 30 years of service in the upper chamber and his close to 100-percent name identification.

McCain acknowledged that it’s possible the party’s eventual presidential nominee could drag down GOP candidates down ballot such as himself.

“That’s always a concern,” he said.

But he reiterated that he will support the party’s eventual nominee, whomever it turns out to be.  

This will be the first time McCain has not spoken at a GOP convention since 1984, just a year after he was first elected to Congress.