The special election in Hawaii has begun to heat up, with Democrats nervously watching the developments as their split ticket gives a mainstream Republican even more opportunity to win the election and turn the seat red.
The election is being held May 22 as current Democratic Representative Neil Abercrombie is leaving Congress and his 1st District seat to campaign for the open Governor’s seat. This leaves two Democrats, former Rep. Ed Case and state Senator Colleen Hanabusa, to battle Republican Charles Djou in the election. Rumors of DCCC supporting Case over Hanabusa are being reported by the Washington insider news site, Politico, and many Democrats, knowing the national mood and remembering how other mainstream, common sense Conservatives have won open Democratic seats, are expecting a close race.
Losing this seat would be another blow to Democrats right before the November elections. Republicans have been showing surging ahead in many key races, and Democrats are biting their nails over what will come next. Many Americans, unhappy with healthcare reform being rammed through Congress thanks to sweetheart deals, the economy, and the Democratic Congress’s handling of issues, are ready to send messages to Washington and are supporting Republicans who have histories of finding solutions to economic problems. Djou’s strong reputation from his time on City Council and in the Hawaiian state Senate has helped buoy him as a fiscal conservative.
One thing is for sure: in this all-party, no-primary race, all eyes will be watching Hawaii come mid-May.