In Hawaii’s 1st congressional district, ballots for the vote-by-mail special elections arrive today. Greeting Honolulu Advertiser readers today:
Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou has the advantage in the special election for Congress, a new Hawai’i Poll has found, giving Republicans the best opportunity in two decades to claim the urban Honolulu district.
Djou leads with 36 percent, former congressman Ed Case is chasing at 28 percent, and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa is trailing with 22 percent. Thirteen percent were undecided.
This is great news for Djou, but a poll lead and about two bucks will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. He and his team have to maintain an all-out push to get out the vote in this heavily Democratic district; I wouldn’t be surprised to see a surge of pressure on one of the Democrats to drop out.
You’re seeing a few liberal bloggers declare that this is such a unique circumstance that if Djou wins, come November, any Democratic nominee will knock him off. I think they’re wildly presumptuous. Djou is a genuinely good candidate, near-impossible to paint as just another Republican. The DCCC attacks on him are pathetically generic; either their research team has quit or Djou really has never done anything controversial or unpopular in his political career. If Djou wins, he’ll have a half a year or so to start serving constituents and building up the traditional advantages of an incumbent.