By Chad Blair
Perhaps the most closely contested Hawaii political match-up in 2010 was the race to replace Neil Abercrombie in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The special election held that May, after Abercrombie resigned to run for governor, featured three well-known, experienced candidates and resulted in the state sending a Republican to Washington for the first time in decades.
Maybe you’ve heard: Hanabusa and Djou have a rematch this year, too.
Yet, the 1st District election is important, too.
Given re-election rates for Hawaii’s congressional delegation — Djou is the only Hawaii incumbent to lose re-election — the winner will likely remain in the House for as long as they like and be considered a frontrunner to one day replace Daniel K. Inouye in the Senate.
And, while most political analysts consider the 1st District seat safely in the “blue” column, control of the House — initially thought likely to stay in Republican hands — is increasingly up in the air. Democrats would need to pick up 25 seats to wrest control.
On Thursday, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steve Israel, who heads the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the odds of that happening have improved through the selection of Rep. Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate. As Israel put it, Ryan’s proposal to turn Medicare into a voucher program is a “down-ballot disaster for Republicans across the country.”
As Politico reported on Friday, top Republicans are meeting with vulnerable lawmakers to ensure that the GOP does not lose the House.
So with all the national attention, why is Hawaii’s 1st District race so quiet?