Congressman Charles Djou, Hawaii Republican, is defending the seat he won in a special election back in May. The former Honolulu City Councilman won a three-way race against two Democrats, and many believed he would have more trouble winning again in November, since both Democrats split support between their party. However, a new poll is showing Mr. Djou with a strong lead against Democrat candidate Colleen Hanabusa.
According to a Djou campaign release on Friday:
The latest independent poll in the race for Hawaii’s First Congressional District shows Charles Djou leading Colleen Hanabusa by 9 points. This poll comes on the heels of the reports showing that Djou for Hawaii has outraised Hanabusa by over $167,000 in the last six weeks.
“The momentum is clearly on our side,” Djou campaign spokesman Daniel Son said. “Despite a million dollar negative ad campaign against us, Charles’ dedicated volunteers and his message of fiscal responsibility and government accountability have continued to reach the residents of Hawaii’s First Congressional District.”
The Djou campaign has knocked on nearly 20,000 doors and made nearly 300,000 phone calls during the General Election.
The telephone survey, conducted by ccAdvertising, showed Charles leading Hanabusa 44% to 35%, with a margin of error of +/-3%. The survey had 2,747 participants.
While this is good news for Congressman Djou, the Honolulu Star and the local NBC affiliate KGMB reported on Sunday that polls show both candidates in a dead heat.
Djou campaign spokesman Daniel Son told me on Sunday afternoon, “Right after the special election we were told that once there was one Democratic opponent against Charles, that there wouldn’t even be a contest—that he’d blown out of the water, and that he didn’t stand a chance, but clearly that’s not the case,” he said. “And the fact that this race is as close as it is, and we are as competitive as we are is evidence that the people of Hawaii want to change the direction of Congress.”
It should be noted that Hawaii’s first Congressional District is where President Barack Obama grew up and has been a heavily favored Democratic district for many election cycles. Mr. Obama won 70% of the district’s vote during the 2008 presidential election. In fact, until Mr. Djou picked up the seat for the GOP in May, no Hawaiian Congressional District had been represented by a Republican in 20 years.
It looks like Hawaii and Illinois congressional races may show that Mr. Obama’s hometown hero status may only go so far. If Mr. Djou can keep this seat and Congressman Mark Kirk, Illinois Republican, wins Mr. Obama’s former Senate seat, it will only catapult the idea that the president’s own home bases are also finding it difficult to support the Obama administration’s tax and spend agenda.