JONATHAN CHAIT MAY 13, 2010
The Hawaii special election in Congress has received a lot of attention. Partly this is because it's an almost comical case of political disorganization, where the Republicans are about to gain a seat in an overwhelmingly Democratic district because there are two Democrats running against one Republican, and the party is too faction-riven to force one of them out. I also suspect another factor is the desire of political reporters to visit Hawaii. Politico has a good rundown of the bumbling.
I was going to give this story another Will Rogers label. But I think the whole thing is wildly overplayed, and you can see why when you get to the very end of this long-for-Politico article:
Peter Boylan, an Inouye spokesman, said Inouye remained focused on the prospect of Hanabusa winning the seat in a November general election matchup.
“This race is not over until November, and the senator will work hard to ensure that Colleen Hanabusa brings her bipartisan record of accomplishment and reputation as an honest broker to the U.S. House of Representatives,” he said. “This seat is about much more than a temporary tally on a national Democratic scorecard. Our delegation is small, and who we send to Washington has to be an honest advocate for Hawaii because our community’s livelihood depends on it.”
In other words, this doesn't matter. The Republicans will pick up a seat because the Democrats split probably more than 60% of the vote. Then the Democrats will win it back in the fall.