Fighting within the party over two Democrats on the ballot —former Rep. Ed Case and state senator Colleen Hanabusa— has led national Democrats to abandon the race, "effectively ceding the race to Republicans and likely setting the party up for what could be their first special election loss of the cycle."
"The DCCC will not be investing additional resources in the HI-01 (Abercrombie-open) special election," said DCCC spokesman Jennifer Crider in a statement. "Local Democrats were unable to work out their differences. The DCCC will save the resources we would have invested in the Hawaii special election this month for the general election in November."
The DCCC's move is monumental because it shows the party believes there is no path to victory in the first special election of this cycle, in which Democrats already boasted two wins for House seats in New York in 2009. What's more, the DCCC went off of Hawaii television two weeks after the ballots were mailed out for the special election and just less than two weeks to go until the ballots are due.
The DCCC had already put more than $300K into the race, and Obama had contributed a robocall, which illustrated the party's bind when it didn't specify which Democrat the president needed a vote for.
There was reason for Inouye to be worried. Charles Djou, the nice-guy Republican from Obama's "home district" is set for a serious upset. The Hawaii special election is a three-way, winner-take-all race with a mail-in ballot. The mail-in voting period ends May 22.
Parting quote: "It's a nightmare for Democrats."