Nate Silver makes the straightforward point that the retirement of Hawaii US Senator Daniel Akaka (D) probably won’t effect the partisan make-up of the US Senate. President Obama carried the state in 2008 by an astonishing 45 percentage points. Democrats ran very well in Hawaii in the otherwise disastrous (for them) 2010 mid-term elections. There are a handful of capable Democratic candidates ready to take Akaka’s place as the party’s 2012 standard-bearer for the now-open seat. Environmentally, in other words, the seat seems likely to stay in Democratic hands.
Jennifer Duffy, one of the best national analysts of Congressional races and campaigns, points out that if the Republicans can recruit former Governor Linda Lingle (R) to run for the “Akaka seat,” the GOP will have at least a fighting chance of winning. Ms. Lingle is a proven vote-getter in Hawaii and very well-liked.
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