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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 6/18 (324 comments)

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  •  Yeah (3+ / 0-)
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    KingofSpades, lordpet8, gabjoh

    I think Thielen (a recent switcher to the Democratic Party) beat Ryan in large part because of GOP and independent participation.  Maybe it wasn't such a bad thing because Thielen managed to hold off the attempted return of Fred Hemmings, though the 18-point margin suggests even Ryan could have done so as well.

    As for Clayton Hee, it's a combination of a few things.  Hee has a polarizing reputation and Republicans really don't like him for some reason.  He goes way back in Hawaii politics, having been in and out of the state legislature for decades, as well as a stint at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, which was also during a somewhat turbulent time for the agency.  His reputation aside, he also got redistricted into new territory last year, picking up a lot of swingy areas on the North Shore which have been turning against Democrats in recent years, possibly over the rail issue.  There's also Laie which is a hardcore GOP-voting Mormon bastion.  Meyer was also a pretty strong candidate as a former long-term state representative before getting turned out in the 2008 Obama wave.

    Add all those together, and the fact that this and Hemmings' attempted return against Thielen were the only 2 out of the 25 races that Republicans were even spending money on, and it's not surprising it was closest.  Hee's 7% margin should be cause for concern going forward, and it is probably the likeliest candidate for giving Republicans their second seat in the chamber down the line, considering that every other seat gave Democrats over 60%, and most of them over 70%.  In fact, the third closest race after Hee and Thielen was, in fact, Sam Slom's re-election at 60-40%.  Lol.

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