Relishing anything that might quell the GOP’s November momentum, the mainstream media is unmercifully hammering the Republican effort in Tuesday’s PA-12 special election.
According to the Obama Administration’s resident journalists-on-call at Politico, “Republicans failed spectacularly [in PA-12], losing on a level playing field where, in this favorable environment, they should have run roughshod over the opposition.”
Sorry, we didn’t know that competing in a congressional district where Democrats hold a 60,000-voter registration edge in a state that was also hosting the most heated Democratic senatorial primary in decades constituted a level playing field. Remember, GOP candidate Burns lost by slightly more than 10,000 votes – hardly a spectacular defeat in that special election.
This upcoming weekend in Hawaii’s First Congressional District, a special election defeat for the ages might actually occur. In a district that President Obama carried with 70 percent of the vote, the race to replace now-departed Democratic incumbent Rep. Neil Abercrombie pits two Democrats against one GOP candidate in a single winner-take all race. On the Dem side are former Rep. Ed Case and state Senate President Colleen Hanabusa; the GOP is represented by Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou.
Due to friction between local Hawaii Democrats and national party leaders (Sen. Inouye and Sen. Akaka), both popular Democratic candidates are fighting to the finish. It is likely that Case and Hanabusa will evenly split the Dem vote, giving Djou, the Republican candidate, a win with well less than 50% of the vote. This heated situation has led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) to throw in the towel, refusing to direct any more resources to the race. In fact, the situation has gotten so out of control that the rallying cry in Hawaii among Democrats is a Brewster’s Millions-esque, “Whatever you do, don’t vote for Djou.” Sound familiar? (See, NY-23 2009 Special Election, mainstream media lambasted GOP for similar situation). For added symbolism, HI-1 is the native district of President Obama.
Here’s a prediction — If Djou does win, any mainstream media coverage of the Dem’s internal frictions will disappear over the horizon when the sun sets. No one will be calling to throw Tim Kaine overboard and the mainstream media will go back to the story they love best, beating on the missteps by conservatives, tea party activists and GOP groups as they engage in a very public debate on changing the Washington mindset of tax, spend and then spend some more. You can take that to your bookie, Danno.
Ford O’Connell and Steve Pearson are the co-founders of ProjectVirginia and CivicForumPAC.