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McCain Struggles To Wrap Up His Own Party's Support

There’s been quite a bit of talk the past few days about a handful of House Democrats who’ve announced that they won’t endorse Barack Obama’s

There’s been quite a bit of talk the past few days about a handful of House Democrats who’ve announced that they won’t endorse Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Most notably, Rep. Dan Boren, a right-wing Dem from Oklahoma said he’ll vote for Obama in November, but he won’t endorse him beforehand, calling Obama “the most liberal senator” in Congress.

Noting the phenomenon of Obama holdouts among Democratic lawmakers on the Hill, the AP said John McCain “has his own issues in his party,” but “only a handful” of GOP lawmakers have withheld their support for him.

As it turns out, though, the AP is wrong. There’s actually more than a “handful.”

At least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse or publicly support Sen. John McCain for president, and more than a dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator.

Many of the recalcitrant GOP members declined to detail their reasons for withholding support, but Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.) expressed major concerns about McCain’s energy policies and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) cited the Iraq war.

A handful of other Republicans on Capitol Hill made the distinction between “endorsing” and “supporting,” adding that while they have not endorsed, they do support McCain.

For all the talk about Democrats having to work hard to achieve “unity” after a lengthy and contentious primary fight, it looks like Republicans are in just as awkward a spot — and McCain effectively wrapped up the GOP nomination way back in February.

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