For the first time since, May, 2008, House Republicans have won a special election.
Republican Charles Djou topped Democrats Colleen Hanabusa and former Rep. Ed Case (D-HI) to succeed retired Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) in Congress. Before Djou’s victory, Democrats had won 11 consecutive special elections. The stretch included a win last Tuesday by Rep. Mark Critz (D-PA) to succeed the late-Rep. Jack Murtha (D-PA). Many political handicappers expected Republican Tim Burns to win that contest and viewed the race as a barometer for how the political winds may blow this fall.
Djou secured 39.5 percent of the vote. Meantime, the two Democratic candidates, Hanabusa and Case combined to score nearly 60 percent of the vote. But that splintered the Democratic impact and allowed Djou to squeak through.
This was no surprise. The national Democrats had pulled out of this race at the beginning of the month. Furthermore, there were two Democrats running against one Republican and so the dynamic in this race was unique. The next special election will be in Eric Massa's old seat in New York state.