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Obama, McCain miss Senate votes -- a lot

WASHINGTON, July 10 (UPI) -- Sen. Barack Obama left campaigning behind 12 times for roll call votes in the U.S. Senate while Sen. John McCain showed up for six, vote tallies indicate.

McCain, the presumptive Republican candidate, cast 36 of the Senate's 169 votes this session, while his likely Democratic challenger cast 70, a USA Today analysis showed.

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Obama was on hand for Wednesday's reauthorization of U.S. spy laws and McCain wasn't.

Their absences began in 2007, ahead of the primary-and-caucus season, the newspaper said. McCain's voting participation score, as tabulated by Congressional Quarterly, dropped from 91 percent in 2006 to 44 percent last year. Obama's participation fell from 99 percent in 2006 to 66 percent last year.

McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said the U.S. senator from Arizona "has not missed a vote where his vote would have determined the outcome of legislation."

Obama spokesman Nick Shapiro said the senator from Illinois consults with his Senate staff, returning to vote on matters "of significant national importance."

Analysts told USA Today presidential candidates Obama and McCain aren't out of line. In 2004, Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, D-Mass., showed up for 10 percent of Senate votes.

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