Republican hopes in Hawaii special rise with new poll
1. A new Honolulu Advertiser poll shows Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou (R) with a high-single digit edge over his two Democratic opponents, numbers sure to thrill national Republicans with less than three weeks left before the special election.
Djou took 36 percent to 28 percent for former Rep. Ed Case and 22 percent for state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa (D), according to the Ward Research poll. All three candidates will appear on a single ballot in the May 22 special election.
"Today's poll validates what we have thought all along," said Djou in an email to supporters touting the results. "Our message of fiscal responsibility resonates with Hawaii voters."
The Advertiser poll suggests that the ongoing back and forth between Hanabusa and Case is -- not surprisingly -- accruing to Djou's benefit, allowing him to run as a non-partisan problem solver, which is a great message in this climate.
Several weeks ago there was chatter in Washington circles of trying to narrow the Democratic field to a single candidate -- Case -- to preserve Democrats' ability to hold a district where President Barack Obama won 70 percent of the vote.
But, Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) leapt to Hanabusa's defense to try and keep the national party on the sidelines. It's worked to date although the Advertiser poll might force a rethinking of that strategy.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent $243,000 on ads hitting Djou but will likely need to spend significantly more to ensure a negative message on the Republican is reaching voters.
The result of the special election is likely to be interpreted as a national referendum on the state of play in advance of the November midterm elections. But, remember that Democrats -- even if they lose later this month -- are likely to win the seat in the fall due to its strong lean toward their party and the fact that it will be a one on one race rather than a three-way battle….
(Obviously the Washington Post doesn't know what "1986" means.)