Battleground in the making in Hawaii


The failure of feuding Democrats in Hawaii’s first US Congressional District to limit themselves to one bona fide candidate in the recent free-for-all election to replace Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) ceded the seat to Republican Charles Djou (R-HI) for the brief duration of the term. Now colleagues in Washington are working to help Djou stay in DC for awhile.

Djou has been to Washington, where members of his party are holding fund-raisers in his behalf, and where the NRCC has enrolled him in their Patriot incumbent retention program, according to CQ Politics.

On the Democratic side, the two combatants were Senate President Colleen Hanabusa (D) and former US Rep Ed Case. They had 59% of the vote between them, but split it fairly evenly (Hanabusa 31%, Case 28%), and both lost to Djou, who didn’t quite make it to 40%.

Case has decided to not even make a primary of it, leaving the field to Hanabusa, who will enjoy a huge party registration advantage in the traditionally rock-solid blue district.

However, Djou will be the incumbent and with national party backing, nobody is predicting a Democratic rout in November.

If the RNCC is going to be paying attention to HI-1, the DCCC can no doubt be expected to be back in the district this Fall, as well. It reportedly spent $300K here in the special election before deciding it was a lost cause and withdrawing from the contest.

RBR-TVBR observation: We did a quick check of two prognostication sites, and both – CQ Politics and the Cook Political Report – are calling this a toss-up. That’s the ideal designation for broadcasters hoping to reap a substantial crop of battleground cash.