From NBC's Doug Adams
Sen. Pat Roberts (KS) is now the eighth Republican senator to announce that they will not attend the GOP Convention in St. Paul, Minn., next month.
Roberts spokeswoman told the Topeka Capital Journal today that Roberts will be campaigning that week, finishing up his 105 county statewide tour during the convention week.
Four others who've announced they won't be attending are -- Ted Stevens (AK), Elizabeth Dole (NC), Gordon Smith (OR), and Susan Collins (ME). All are running for re-election and are in close races. (Collins may have the easiest race, but she's never been a close ally of McCain.)
Three other GOP senators who are retiring this year have also said they'll skip the St. Paul festivities -- Larry Craig (ID), Chuck Hagel (NE) and Wayne Allard (CO).
And the list could grow. Two more GOP senators locked in tough re-election races -- John Sununu (NH) and Roger Wicker (MS) are still undecided about attending.