Van Hollen: Dems punting to November in Hawaii

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) suggested Thursday that Democrats have given up hope of winning the special election in Hawaii this weekend.

"We're looking at November in Hawaii," said Van Hollen, who helms the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), at a press briefing with reporters in Washington. 

The DCCC had already announced that it would not invest more resources in the race to replace Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D), who resigned to focus on his gubernatorial candidacy. But Van Hollen's comments are the clearest and most recent sign that Democrats have given up hope on the special election.

In the winner-take-all contest Republican candidate Charles Djou is leading mostly because two Democrats, Ed Case and Colleen Hanabusa, have split the vote on their side.

Democrats are confident they will take the seat back in November, when they have one candidate on the ballot. The district, which is President Barack Obama's home district, leans heavily Democratic.

"I can confidently predict that the Democrats together will get a majority of the vote just like the Democratic candidate in November will get a majority of the vote," Van Hollen said. 

Djou's presumed victory would still give Republicans a boost. Not only is it where Obama was raised, but it would be the first time they switch a seat from Democrat to Republican in a special election since 2001.

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