Five Days in May

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Five days in May — from the 18th to the 22nd — will tell us much about just how bad the political environment is, and will be, for House Democrats this fall.

On May 18, voters in southwestern Pennsylvania will pick a replacement for the late Rep. John Murtha in a special election. Businessman Tim Burns (R) and former Murtha district director Mark Critz (D) will carry their respective party banners in the 12th district special election.


Four days later, a second special election will be held — this one in Hawaii’s 1st district. Two Democrats — state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa and former Rep. Ed Case — as well as Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou (R) will face off in a winner-take-all race.

For Republicans to build genuine momentum — and perk up what, to date, has been surprisingly sluggish fundraising — it would help immensely to win one of these two races.