Salena Zito

Altmire is not alone. Countless congressional seats exist in states such as Kentucky or West Virginia where Democrats will runs as “representatives” -– and not as associates of Obama (or Pelosi, for that matter).

And Obama is not alone in this phenomenon, either: Think how many Republican congressional candidates avoided running with George W. Bush in 2004. That avoidance was amplified during the 2006 midterm election when congressional campaign schedulers told the White House, “Thanks, but no thanks.”

As for presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, he’s the one candidate who may not have a hard time finding congressmen to be photographed with during the campaign.

“McCain does not face the same problem because he was never really perceived as a conservative Republican even though that's what he's become in this campaign,” explains Democrat analyst Steve McMahon. “He was the Democrats’ favorite Republican, until Barack Obama secured the nomination.”

Salena Zito

Salena Zito is a political analyst, reporter and columnist.