The Rothenberg Political Report, which analyzes political campaigns nationally, moved the Hawaii U.S. Senate race from “safe Democrat” to “lean Democrat” after former Gov. Linda Lingle entered the campaign in October.
Unlike other political analysts, Rothenberg does not consider the Hawaii race a tossup, but believes it will be competitive enough to force the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to spend money in a state where Democrats traditionally rule. U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono and former congressman Ed Case are the Democratic contenders against the Republican Lingle.
The Senate has been “in play” for months, but Republicans continue to expand the playing field by adding unexpected candidates in states from Hawaii and Michigan to Connecticut – all states where the GOP shouldn’t even be in the ballgame.
Even if the races in those states don’t go down to the wire, national Democratic strategists won’t be able to ignore them entirely, possibly forcing the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee to spend scarce resources in states it once expected to take for granted. Democrats are now defending four of the six most vulnerable Senate seats – and eight of the most vulnerable ten.