The Campaign Spot

Do Djou and Burns Have Enough Gas in the Tank?

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?

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