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Tags: Colleen Hanabusa

Expect Three to Five Special Elections in the Coming Months



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I periodically joke that there is no off-season in the world of political campaigns. We are likely to see at least four, and perhaps more, special elections in the coming months:

Illinois 2nd Congressional District, where Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned. A primary will be held February 26 (at this point, no Republicans are running, but eight Democrats have filed papers) and the special general election will be held April 9.

Missouri 8th Congressional District, where Rep. Jo Ann Emerson announced she would resign in February. The date for this special election has not been determined yet; the candidates for Republicans and Democrats will be selected by the party committees.

South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District, where Rep. Tim Scott has been appointed the state’s next U.S. Senator. The special election will be held 18 weeks after Scott’s formal resignation from the House, likely setting the special election for May.

Massachusetts Senate: Presuming that President Obama selects John Kerry as his next Secretary of State, Gov. Deval Patrick would appoint  an interim senator to serve until a special election could be held, most likely in May or June. The interim senator would have the option of running in the special election to fill out the remainder of Kerry’s term, which ends in January 2015.

In Hawaii, the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye means that Gov. Neil Ambercrombie will select a replacement to serve until 2014, when a special election is held (the interim senator may and probably will run in the special election). If Ambercrombie selects Rep. Colleen Hanabusa– reportedly the dying wish of the senator – then Hawaii will hold a special election to fill her seat 60 days after she resigns her House office.)

Tags: Colleen Hanabusa , Daniel Inouye , Jesse Jackson Jr. , Jo Ann Emerson , John Kerry , Tim Scott

Djou Not Underestimate the Newest House Republican



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This fits in with a recent pattern that has mostly featured GOP challengers to incumbent House Democrats.

Just two-and-a-half months after winning his special election in HI-01, a new poll from Rep. Charles Djou’s (R) camp shows he starts the general election in a rather strong position. In the survey, Djou led state Senate Pres. Colleen Hanabusa (D) 50-42%.

The poll, which surveyed 400 LVs and was conducted by the Tarrance Group from 7/26-27, had a margin of error of +/- 4.9%. 

Let’s make this easier: Does any Republican running for the House this year not have internal polls that look great? Anybody at all? No? Okay, glad that’s settled.

Tags: Charles Djou , Colleen Hanabusa

Case Closed: Ed Takes a Pass on Another Run in Hawaii



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The “civil war” among Hawaii Democrats ends later than the party would have liked, but earlier than many expected:

By slipping out of a fight between state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa and former U.S. Rep. Ed Case, Hawaii’s Democrats are hoping for a November knockout against Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Djou.

Case stunned supporters and opponents alike yesterday by pulling out of the race for the 1st Congressional District. . . .

In Washington, Djou said that Case’s departure would not change his work in Congress, but he said the political picture is “a little clearer.”

“It helps with the strategic thinking in the campaign,” Djou said, noting that now he knows who he will be running against in the November general election.

Tags: Charles Djou , Colleen Hanabusa , Ed Case

Doubts About Whether the Hawaiian Democrats’ Civil War Will End



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Democrats reassure themselves, “Sure, Charles Djou took 40 percent in a three-way race in a special election for Hawaii’s 1st congressional district, but we’ve got that seat in our back pocket come November.”

Charlie Cook isn’t so sure:

By the time Democrats decided to abandon ship and “save resources for November” rather than wade into a messy intra-party special election fight, more than half of ballots had been cast by mail and the election had already been lost. But their smart sacrifice allowed Republican Charles Djou to cruise into HI-01 with nearly 40 percent of the free-for-all vote, with state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa taking 31 percent and Democratic former Rep. Ed Case taking 28 percent. Contrary to what some on the Democratic side are saying, Democrats’ combined 60 percent share of the vote doesn’t make Djou a dead man walking in November. While he joins Louisiana GOP Rep. Joseph Cao in the Toss Up column, Djou begins his time in the House with a much stronger chance of winning a full term . . .

Hawaii will hold the latest primary in the nation on September 18th. And just because only one Democrat will emerge to face Djou on that date doesn’t mean Hawaii Democrats’ civil war will end. In fact, the finger-pointing taking place in local Democratic circles could produce an even larger, more fractured field of candidates in the primary, leaving Democrats with little time to repair bruised egos and allowing Djou to stay far above the fray as the fall campaign season begins. Only one Republican holds a more Democratic seat than Djou, and Djou will be a top target, but Democrats have their work cut out for them. President Bush’s 47 percent share here in 2004 and GOP Gov. Linda Lingle’s big majorities in 2002 and 2006 show that HI-01 is open to voting for the right kind of Republican, especially when Democrats are a mess.

At this point, all that Republicans can ask for is a fair shot.

Tags: Charles Djou , Colleen Hanabusa , Ed Case

I Said He Could Djou This, and He Did It!



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In a unique set of circumstances — two major Democrats on the ballot, and only one Republican — the GOP’s Charles Djou wins the special House election in Hawaii’s 1st congressional district. It is not a surprise, but I am sure, to many Republicans, it is a relief and a welcome bit of good news.

(R) Charles Djou: 67,610 votes, 39.4 percent

(D) Colleen Hanabusa, 52,802 votes, 30.8 percent

(D) Ed Case 47,391 votes, 27.6 percent

National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) chairman Pete Sessions (R., Tex.) issued the following statement:

I congratulate Charles Djou for his victory and a successful campaign based on the widely-shared values of cutting spending, shrinking government and creating real, permanent American jobs. I have no doubt that Hawaii families will be well-represented in Congress as he joins our fight to return common sense economic policies and fiscal sanity to Washington.

Eighteen months ago, President Obama carried this district with seventy percent of the vote, which makes Charles Djou’s victory an impressive one. Tonight, the voters of Hawaii reaffirmed that middle class families are looking for fresh, new leaders who will take this country in a new direction and serve as a check and balance to Washington Democrats’ reckless and unpopular policies of deficit spending, higher taxes and fewer jobs. Charles Djou’s victory not only changes the makeup of the House of Representatives, but it helps Republicans move one step closer toward winning back the majority in November. Both Charles and his wife Stacey worked tirelessly in this campaign and tonight it paid off.

I would also like to take the opportunity to thank Chairman Steele and the Republican National Committee for the money and manpower they provided in this winning effort. I am grateful for all that he and his team have done to help ensure that 2010 is a successful year for the Republican Party and the entire slate of candidates running across the country.

One of my guys on the ground looks at the preliminary numbers on the ground and concludes:

Likely rematch in Nov between Djou and Hanabusa. I don’t think Case can beat her one-on-one, and the fact that she rallied to beat him in the late balloting when the early polls had him up over her, shows he won’t be able to beat her in August. But, between the two, I think Djou would like to have Hanabusa as his opponent rather than Case.  She’s got baggage, and she’s completely tied to the Dem. machine. Independents are more likely to go for Djou with her as his opponent, than they would be if Case was an option.  I think among Case’s 27.6% are a ton of independents. The minor candidates got less than 3% total — good news for Hanabusa since it shows that Djou is going to have to mine Case’s voters for most of the 11% more he’ll need in Nov., and the biggest portion of those voters are Democrats.

Tags: Charles Djou , Colleen Hanabusa , Ed Case , NRCC

Can Either Democrat Catch Up in Hawaii? The Math Is Tough



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One of my readers in Hawaii is plugged into the local political scene, and he sent two updates recently on the special election:

Convinced that [Colleen] Hanabusa cannot win the special, the [Sen. Daniel] Inouye/Democratic Machine has decided to retreat to fight another day – BUT, they don’t want the Dems to unite behind [Ed] Case. If Case doesn’t win the special, then he’ll likely face  Hanabusa in the Democratic primary in August.

Hanabusa and the labor unions have pretty much gone off the air in terms of advertising.

Inouye negotiated the DCCC withdrawal, in exchange for him sending money their way in the fall. Taking the DCCC money away now is really about making Case spend most of his cash now trying to catch Djou, thereby draining his funds. Hanabusa is going to be well-funded by the Inouye machine and the labor unions to come back again in August, and this time it’ll be 1-on-1 with Case. She’ll have all the advantages and she’ll probably beat Case 55-45 or thereabouts, gaining herself a rematch against Djou in a 1-on-1 contest in Nov.

One person told me that the entire special election scenario was really cooked up to try and deplete the campaign accounts of Djou and Case both, thinking both would have trouble raising replacement funds in the short interval between the special and the general in Oct. The thinking was that if Hanabusa won the special that would be great. But if she didn’t, they want to handicap her two competitors in the fall by forcing them through two campaigns rather than just one. Hanabusa figures to have plenty of cash given her supporters, and the others really have to look to the mainland for money. That’s viewed negatively by Hawaii voters.

The special is pretty much in the bag for Djou now. Next will be the Aug. Dem primary.

And in the second update:

There are some numbers now on the poll you cited yesterday showing Djou with 39.5%, and both Case and Hanabusa roughly equal at 25.5% each. That was an automated telephone poll done by a Mass. Company, and involved a very large sample — 1081 likely voters — with a margin of error of only 3%.

And, the Honolulu Elections Office reports that nearly 30% of all mailed ballots have been returned already. Given the poll results, and the fact that only 70% of the mailed ballots remain outstanding – only a portion of which will actually be returned – I don’t think it is mathematically possible for either Case or Hanabusa to catch up. This is over.

I hope he’s right, but I wouldn’t count any chickens before they hatch. By my back-of-the-envelope math, if yesterday’s poll of returned ballots is accurate, then out of all possible ballots, Djou has 11.85 percent, and Case and Hanabusa each have 7.65 percent. That’s a nice lead, and yes, a lot of those outstanding ballots won’t be returned, but there’s still a chance that one of the two Democrats could enjoy a surge by the May 22 deadline.

Tags: Charles Djou , Colleen Hanabusa , Ed Case

Do Djou and Burns Have Enough Gas in the Tank?



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The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s retreat from Hawaii is a nice omen for Republican Charles Djou, who is running against two Democrats, Colleen Hanabusa and Ed Case. But the voting in this race is still going on, and I hope he and his grassroots organizers are keeping the pedal to the metal.

I put both special elections in my “yellow/middle” category in my list of 99. There have been quite a few nice indicators for Djou and for Tim Burns, who is running in Pennsylvania’s special House election. (In Murtha’s old district, Democrat Mark Critz continues to run against the health-care bill.)

But these are districts where the GOP hasn’t been competitive in quite a while, and I’ve got a nagging doubt or two about the get-out-the-vote operations. Yes, independents are trending away from Democrats lately, but will they remember to vote in a special election? (Or by mail, as in Hawaii?) I have little doubt that Djou and Burns will perform better than any Republican has in those districts in many years; but the question is, will it be enough to win the seat?

Tags: Charles Djou , Colleen Hanabusa , Ed Case , Mark Critz , Tim Burns

Djou You Want an On-the-Ground Report From Hawaii?



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A reader in Hawaii who’s a fan of Campaign Spot and Hugh Hewitt gives a report from on the ground:

Two public workers unions (UPW – United Public Workers Union, and the HSTA — Teacher’s Union) went on the air with negative ads against Djou over the weekend.  Both are aimed primarily at Djou – though one takes shots at Case as well, and both unions have endorsed Hanabusa.

The Hawaii legislature just adjourned Thursday, having done little or nothing to address a huge budget shortfall looming over the next two years.  Dems DOMINATE the Legislature – 23-2 in the 25-member State Senate (Hanabusa is the Senate President), and 45-6 in the State House.   The best thing they did was AVOID raising the state’s General Excise Tax, which was being demanded by all the public worker unions who wanted the additional revenue to avoid furloughs and layoffs of government employees.

But, on the last day of the session, within the last 4 hours, the Dems brought up – without notice to the public – a Civil Unions bill that had been tabled at the beginning of the session, and quickly passed it, sending the measure to the Gov.  The same bill had been voted down last year after a big public outcry – led by the religious community in Hawaii, principally the Mormon and Evangelical communities. That same group was ready to go at the beginning of the legislative session back in January, but the Dems tabled the bill.  When they called it back up on the last day, they caught the opponents off guard, and it passed 31-20. This has really energized the more conservative elements of the Hawaii electorate – both Dem and GOP — just as the ballots began to land in mailboxes in the Congressional race.

And, this came after that poll that was just covered by the Advertiser article you posted from yesterday showing Djou with an expanding lead.

Another thing – don’t look for either Hanabusa or Case to drop out.  They are going to face each other again in 3 months, in the Dem primary for the Nov. general election. Even if Djou wins the special, Hanabusa and Case are fighting for the Dem party’s support in August. If Hanabusa runs a bad third, some of the unions that have lined up behind her might rethink their position, and switch to Case. Case has won 3 times for Congress in the Hawaii 2nd District. It would also likely spell the end of Dan Inouye’s “Kingmaker” status in Hawaii Dem politics. He’s done everything he can do to boost Hanabusa, and based on the poll  you cited, only 1 in 5 voters in the 1st District are willing to vote for her. That is a stunning rejection of the Hawaii Democrats’ “machine.”

. . . [roughly] 1 in 6 voters within the 1st Congressional District live within Djou’s City Council District.

Council races are nonpartisan, but Djou won his first election for City Council 51-39.  He is the only openly-avowed Republican on the City Council – and the Dems were unable to mount a challenge against him in the Dem year of 2006, with him  running unopposed.

If Djou wins the special, with the money and other benefits of incumbency, he might be tough to beat in Nov. as well. If Hanabusa runs third, she may think she has a better shot in a 2-way race, but she’ll be very damaged goods, and she has a significant amount of political baggage now.

If Case runs 3rd, its hard to see him mounting a real serious challenge in Nov. He’s a pariah in the  Hawaii Dem. Party, and I don’t think he’ll ever get the state party to support him.  I suspect they would look within the party establishment to find a replacement for Hanabusa, and if they can’t win the seat back from Djou in 2010, they’ll groom someone for a shot at him in 2012 when Obama will be on the ballot again in the District.

Tags: Charles Djou , Colleen Hanabusa , Ed Case

Nice Guy Charles Djou Takes Some Shots at His Opponents



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As noted yesterday, a Honolulu Advertiser poll puts Charles Djou up by 8 in a highly competitive three-way race in Hawaii’s 1st district special election.

And now he’s got another ad up:

I keep hearing the argument that “even if Djou wins, the Democrat is sure to beat him in November.” I’m not so sure. It appears the only congressman from Hawaii to involuntarily lose office was Neil Abercrombie, when he won a special election while losing a primary in 1986 (and he won the seat back in 1990). The rest have retired to run for other office, retired entirely, or died in office. If Djou gets in, I think he’s got a good shot of proving he’s a non-scary Republican who can represent the district well.

Tags: Charles Djou , Colleen Hanabusa , Ed Case

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