But Djou also isn't shy about emphasizing his Republican views on the economy: he views the stimulus as a failure, wants Congress to spend a lot less, supports a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution and supports the extension of all the Bush-era tax cuts.
Djou has "essentially been very candid and straightforward about his Republican principles. And, love 'em or hate 'em, they're out there pretty clear," said Neal Milner, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa "He's not an angry Republican and he's not a social conservative," he said. "And he's just kind of naturally comfortable with people."
Democrats have focused on specific issues. "This race has always been close, but in the closing days of the campaign ... it'll become clear that the reason Charles Djou has spent this entire campaign avoiding talking about his record is because he can't defend his votes against Wall Street reform, against emergency unemployment benefits and against critical funds for Hawaii schools," said Andy Stone, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in a statement. However the mood of the district, more than issues, may be the decisive factor in the race.
Djou, a lawyer and a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, believes that the anti-establishment feeling in his district helps his prospects.
"The people here in Hawaii are very frustrated, upset with the direction Congress is taking our nation," he said. "What really gets my constituents upset is the fact that the Congress has spent all this money ... and unemployment still remains high, the economy hasn't gotten turned around and we're still in an economic rut," he said.
But it's not just the mood of the district that gives Djou a fighting chance, outside analysts say. It's also the dysfunction of the Democrats.
"The most interesting thing I've found about this race is how listless the Democrats have been here," Milner, the professor, said. "This was the Democrats election to lose, basically, and they just haven't caught on."
Rapoza, Hanabusa's spokesman, insisted the campaign was going well. "We're happy with where we are right now. Colleen is getting a great response in the community which is how we gauge how well we're doing," he said.
But the memory of that three-way special election remains. "I think the Democrats made everyone a little uneasy with their infighting," Wood, the analyst from the University of Virginia explained. "There are some Democrats who are not really ready to hop back on the Hanabusa train yet."
For his part, the Congressman hopes to retain his seat on November 2nd and get back to his extended commute, reading constituent casework on the 12-hour flights to Honolulu and preparing for committee hearings on flights back to Washington, D.C. Djou admits however that he sometimes does something besides work while he's up in the air.
"The reality is you know being a member of Congress can be very busy," he said. "So one of the very few – and I mean very few – nice things about flying that much is I actually can sleep."