A primary challenge
Hawaii's Junior Senator Daniel Akaka faces off against Democratic Congressman Ed Case in a primary election today.
HONOLULU - Hawaii voters were heading to the polls Saturday in a Democratic primary highlighted by a challenge from a congressman who wants voters to dump veteran Sen. Daniel Akaka (news, bio, voting record) in favor of younger blood.Why is TFM blogging about a Senate race in Hawaii? Daniel Akaka is the primary sponsor of legislation that would create a Hawaiians only government. If you need a reminder of the Akaka bill, read these posts here and here. There are many reasons why the legislation is a bad idea, primarily that it would most likely be unconstitutional.
Rep. Ed Case (news, bio, voting record), 53, has used images of Hawaiian surf in his ad campaign, telling voters to "catch a new wave" by electing a younger senator before Akaka and Sen. Daniel Inouye (news, bio, voting record), both 82, leave office and rob the state of the clout that came with their seniority.
Akaka, who has served 30 years in Congress, has largely ignored Case's calls for new leadership in Washington. Instead, he has highlighted his experience and his consistent votes against the Iraq war.
Two recent polls showed Akaka with a substantial lead among likely Democratic voters, but many people were undecided, and Case could benefit from Republicans and independents who take a Democratic ballot in the open primary.
"Because this is the hot race, you're going to see a lot of crossing over," said Ira Rohter, a University of Hawaii political science professor. "A lot of them are going to vote for Ed Case because they want to get someone who's less liberal in there."
Akaka held more than a 2-to-1 advantage in fundraising, collecting more than $2 million to Case's $817,000 early this month.
Hawaii has the lowest voter turnout in the nation, with even less participation in primaries. Only 40 percent of 626,000 registered voters cast ballots in the 2004 primary.
Nearly 95,000 people had voted by absentee ballot and walk-in voting as of Thursday — more than one-third of the total number of people who voted in the primary two years ago.
Native Hawaiians, who make up about one-eighth of registered voters, were getting an extra push to the polls, with an election-eve rally in front of the Hawaiian royalty's Iolani Palace.
Will Hawaiian voters vote Akaka out for this bad idea? I don't think they will. If Akaka loses, I'd think the Senator's age would be the big facotr. He is 81, will be 87 when his term ends. If Akaka lives that long. Case is almost 30 years younger. If you were a Hawaiian Democrat would you like a more youthful and more energetic person representing you? Other than the Akaka Bill, the Senator is not a legislative work horse.
This race isn't getting 5% of the coverage that the CT Democratic primary did from either the media or blogosphere. Is it because of the candidate's similarity(No debate about Iraq that I know of) or that Hawaii is just so remote. I'd think the MSM wouldn't mind a small vacation in the our 50th state.
Linked to- TMH's Bacon Bits, Right Wing Nation, Uncooperative Blogger,