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“I’ve made no secret of the fact that I don’t want to see Mitt Romney elected,” Mr. Rockefeller said in a statement. “And I have never made a secret of the fact that I support our president and the entire Democratic ticket, top to bottom.”

Republicans have rushed to capitalize on the dichotomy, state political observers say, running ads repeatedly linking local Democrats to Mr. Obama and his policies. Mr. White said one motivation of the GOP strategy is to tamp down local Democratic turnout and voter enthusiasm.

“The fewer people who vote in this state, if you are Raese, if you are Maloney, if you are Snuffer, that is a good thing,” Mr. White said.

Mr. Maloney even argued that Mr. Tomblin had missed an opportunity to publicly register his unhappiness with the president by not going to the convention.

Earl Ray Tomblin has chosen to support Barack Obama by not going to his own convention to vote against the president,” Mr. Maloney said. “Barack Obama and his job-killing policies are hurting West Virginians. It is now clear that Earl Ray Tomblin supports Barack Obama and his policies.”