Former Republican Governor Linda Lingle is announcing her intention to run for the party nomination for an open senate seat in the state of Hawaii, but despite being the best candidate that the GOP could hope for, her odds of winning are slim at best.
Hawaii, already a Democratic-leaning state, is expected to get an even bigger boost in turnout in 2012 as the home state of President Barack Obama.
Although the Democratic pool is still in flux, many point to Congresswoman Mazie Hirono as a front runner, making the 2012 race a potential rematch of the gubernatorial race that Lingle eventually won. As Hirono supporters point out, however, that race occurred back in 2002, and without the long coattails that an Obama reelection year offers.
Lingle is expected to bring in huge funds, both through her own extensive network and with the support of Republican groups anxious to create another battle ground for Democrats to defend. But Democrats have the popularity of Obama in the state and the close relationship Lingle had with former Governor Sarah Palin to their advantage.
Should the match up become Lingle versus Hirono, it will at the very least be historic. Hawaii has never elected a female senator.
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