Monday, May 24, 2010

Major GOP win in Hawaii

The GOP is on a roll. After winning the governorship of New Jersey, Republicans rocked the political establishment by winning Ted Kennedy's seat in the bluest of blue states, Massachusetts.

Now, Republican can add Hawaii's 1st congressional district to their list. Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou won the special election this past Saturday to succeed Neil Abercrombie, who resigned to run for Governor. Due to the special circumstances of this race (two Democrats--Colleen Hanabusa and Ed Case--ran in this open, free-for-all, winner-take-all election), Djou did the impossible and won with 40 percent of the vote, compared to 31 percent for Hanabusa and 28 percent for Ed Case. Djou won't have much time to rest though, as he will be defending his newly-won seat in congress this November.

Hawaii's first congressional district is its most urban, and includes all of Honolulu. The win is a major victory for Republicans--not only did Djou run as a fiscal conservative opposing Obama on healthcare, Cap-and-Trade and other initiatives, his win represents the first time Hawaii will be represented by a Republican in more than 2 decades and only the second Republican to represent the islands on Capitol Hill since statewood.

And let's not forget that this district is Obama's childhood home and gave him 70 percent of the vote in 2008. Will it be difficult for Djou to retain this seat? Yes, but not impossible: George Bush garnered 47 percent of the vote here in 2008.

Here's a visual breakdown of the district's vote. Notice the sea of red!

Which state will be the next to turn from blue to red? Republicans can't take anything for granted--as the Democratic retention of Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district proved last week. But with the right candidates, the right message, and the right ground game, Republicans can continue to pile up wins in blue states.

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