National Dems Withdraw From HI-01 Special Election

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is pulling out of the HI-01 special election –effectively ceding a district that President Obama carried with 70% of the vote, but where two Democratic candidates have been splitting the vote in an unusual race.

“The DCCC will not be investing additional resources in the HI-01 (Abercrombie-open) special election. Local Democrats were unable to work out their differences,” said DCCC communications director Jennifer Crider said in a statement to The Hotline. “The DCCC will save the resources we would have invested in the Hawaii special election this month for the general election in November.”

It appears then, that the DCCC’s plan is to let Djou take this seat for the GOP in two weeks, and then work to kick him out in November, when the election will be conducted under the normal rules of one Democrats vs. one Republican in a normally deep-blue seat.Hawaii special elections for the House do not work like they usually do in other states, where candidates either compete in separate party primaries, or the parties select their candidates through an internal party committee process. Instead, a single-round election is held in which all the candidates appear together on one ballot, and the plurality-winner takes the whole thing. The election is being conducted entirely by mail, and will end on May 22.

There is one Republican candidate running, Honolulu city councilman Charles Djou. At the same time there are two Democrats, former Rep. Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa. Case is unofficially supported by national Democrats, but they have not been able to official participate other than to attack Republican Charles Djou or vaguely ask voters to pick a Democrat. Meanwhile, Hanabusa has pledged to stay in the race.

The TPM Poll Average for the special election shows Republican Honolulu city councilman Charles Djou with 32.3%, Case with 32.0% and Hanabusa with 21.8%.

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