Case won't likely be getting any support from the Democratic establishment -- at least in Hawaii.
Last week, Hirono received the public support
of the most well-liked Democrat in the state, Sen. Daniel Inouye
. While Inouye stopped short of officially endorsing Hirono, he made clear that he prefers the congresswoman over Case, and is committed to voting for her.
It's not surprising that Inouye is behind the 2nd District congresswoman. His relationship with Case isn't warm: The former congressman's decision to challenge Sen. Daniel Akaka
in the 2006 Democratic primary ruffled a lot of feathers in the Democratic establishment, which unofficially, counts Inouye as its leader. Case apologized to Inouye
earlier this year for any hard feelings, but Inouye offered Honolulu Civil Beat this blunt assessment of his relationship with Case earlier this week: "He knows why I'm not too happy with him."
"I can't speak for Sen. Inouye as to why he's made some of the decisions he's made," Case told On Call
. From my perspective, I don't know that there's much more I can do. The voters have my candidacy; Sen. Inouye has expressed his presence. Sooner, or later I'm going to get to a campaign with my opponent."
But Case acknowledged, once again, that running in 2006 was a mistake.
"That race was a mistake," Case said Thursday. "It was the wrong decision and I regret it."
Julie Sobel contributed to this report.