Sunday, May 23, 2010

Republican Charles Djou wins special election in Hawaii

Aloha Obama! In a special election Obama’s birthplace of Hawaii has elected a Republican to the US House of Representatives for the first time in 20 years. 
Republican Charles Djou emerged victorious tonight in the special election to fill Hawaii's vacancy in Congress, giving Hawaii its first GOP member of Congress in 20 years.
Djou won the special mail-in election with 39.7 percent of the vote in the first printout, released at 6 p.m.
The first printout represented nearly all of the 170,312 returned by voters in the district, which stretches from Waikiki and downtown to Mililani.
Democrat Colleen Hanabusa was second at 31 percent, with Democrat Ed Case third at 27.8 percent.
“This is a momentous day,” Djou told a jubilant crowd at state party headquarters. “We have sent a message to the United States Congress. We have sent a message to the ex-governors. We have sent a message to the national Democrats! We have sent a message to the machine.
“We have told them that we will not stand idly by as our great nation is overburdened by too much taxes, too much debt and too much wasteful spending.”
Conventional wisdom says that Djou’s victory will be short lived. In the fall he will have to run head to head against a Democrat. Given that the top two Democrats combined captured over 58% of the vote, there is some truth to conventional wisdom.

However some see a glimmer of hope. John McCormick from The Weekly Standard says
Obama carried the district 70% to 28% in 2008. Conventional wisdom holds that Djou will lose this seat in the fall when there won't be two Democratic candidates splitting the Democratic vote. But I wouldn't be so sure that Djou can't boost his share of the vote from 39.5% in a three-way race to 50.1% in a head-to-head match up. It's not clear that Hawaii Dems will easily unify behind one candidate (the primary is September 18). And Djou will have six months as an incumbent to get to know voters better. He's certainly an appealing candidate (see here). 
I too think it is possible, the trick is not just to call out what is wrong with the Democrats, but to clearly articulate what is so right about voting for a Republican.  If Djou can do both those things equally, he will have more than a better chance of keeping his seat.


Anonymous said...

He has his work cut out for him for sure, but 40 % vote in a Dem district is nothing to sneeze at. Granted GOP shouldn't be celebrating early and relaxing because the Dem vote was split, but Dems shouldn't celebrate either because there's no guarantee that once there is only one Dem candidatate they'll pick up more votes from supporters of the other candidate.

I agree that the GOP has to send a strong message of who they'll be running to or else it just looks like more of what they're running from.

Anonymous said...


Gorges Smythe said...

This is shaping up to be an interesting year.

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