Rahall's Republican opponent, Rick Snuffer, has made no secret about his plan to defeat Rahall by linking the longtime congressman to Obama. Snuffer's campaign repeated that tactic Monday.
"For [Rahall] to try to paper over his support for the president by skipping the Democratic National Convention is extremely disingenuous," said Andy Sere, a Snuffer campaign strategist. "It's good [Rahall] is spending more time in West Virginia because he has a lot of explaining to do in regard to his support for the president and his policies."
State GOP leaders said the three West Virginia Democrats ought to come clean about their refusal to attend the party's convention in North Carolina.
"We all know the only reason they're refusing to attend the Democratic National Convention is they're afraid to tell the people of West Virginia who they support for president," Lucas said in a prepared statement. "Any attempt to suggest otherwise is political spin aimed at purposefully misleading the voters."
In recent weeks, the GOP has put out a series of releases, pressing Manchin and Tomblin to disclose whether they plan to vote for Obama.
Lucas has said that state Democratic Party rules require the state party chairman to certify the presidential preference of all West Virginia delegates.
Democratic Party Chairman Larry Puccio countered that the party wasn't bound by any such requirement because Obama faces no substantial opposition for the nomination. Manchin, Tomblin and Rahall are automatic delegates -- also known as "super-delegates" -- to the convention.
"November is still coming, and the voters of this state are entitled to know who their leaders support for president, regardless of how much Tomblin and Manchin are committed to keeping the truth hidden," Lucas said Monday.
Bill Maloney, a Morgantown businessman, is running on the Republican ticket against Tomblin. Republican candidate John Raese faces Manchin.
A recent poll has shown Romney with a 17-point lead over Obama in West Virginia.
Obama lost West Virginia's 2008 presidential general election to Republican candidate John McCain. Obama also lost that year's state Democratic primary to Hillary Clinton, who now serves as Obama's secretary of state.
The Democratic National Convention is set for the week of Sept. 3.
Sen. Jay Rockefeller, also D-W.Va., will attend the convention, the state party said Monday.
Puccio released the state's convention delegation list in accordance with party rules.
Reach Eric Eyre at erice...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4869.