Republican Congressman Charles Djou was first elected in a special election in May 2010, which Republicans heralded as a "significant win" and to which DNC Chairman Tim Kaine responded, "Democrats got 60% of the vote in that race. In the November election, it will be one Democrat against one Republican, and we feel very, very confident about winning that race." In the general election, Hawaii State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, also a candidate in the special election, emerged as the Democratic nominee. Though former Congressman Ed Case, the other Democratic candidate in the special election, was speculated to run again in November, he ultimately decided against it. In the general election, both parties heavily invested in taking the seat, and polls indicated that the race was close up until election day. On election day, however, Hanabusa edged out Djou by a surprising large six point margin of victory and was sent to Congress for her first term.
This liberal district that encompasses all of Hawaii but Honolulu, has been represented by Democratic Congresswoman Mazie Hirono since she was first elected in 2006. This year, Congresswoman Hirono faced Republican challenger and Tea Party activist John Willoughby in the general election. Though Willoughby attacked Hirono for refusing to debate, polls indicated that the Congresswoman was a shoo-in for re-election.