HI-01: Djou Wins Special Election

Charles Djou became the first Republican elected in a federal race from Hawaii in decades, winning an unusual House special election to replace Neil Abercrombie, who resigned to run for Governor. As you can see in the election results, Djou, a Honolulu city councilman, captured 39.5% of the vote, winning because two Democrats split the vote between them. Colleen Hanabusa, the President of the Hawaii state Senate, came in second with 30.8% of the vote, while ConservaDem Ed Case finished third with 27.6%. Eleven other candidates split the rest of the vote.

After all the hype about Ed Case, he ended up finishing third. The heavy turnout for a special election (about 53%) obviously helped Hanabusa, but she couldn’t overcome the split vote. Democrats took 58.4% of the vote to Djou’s 39.5%. This sets Hanabusa up well for the September primary, and in a one-on-one race against Djou, she’s unlikely to lose. In addition, the DCCC clearly made the right decision not to invest in Case, who finished poorly. In a more normal election, they shouldn’t even have to put in any money, given those numbers.

This does break a long string of Democratic wins in special elections, and does flip a seat to the Republicans, at least temporarily. But Rep. Djou would basically have to switch parties in order to win in November.

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