Mazie Hirono's Senate victory came as no surprise. The polls consistently showed her to have a substantial lead.
Hawaii being the bluest of blue states, no Republican candidate could have won that Senate race. However, Linda Lingle may have hurt her chances with her campaign tactic of running as an independent. Neither independents nor Democrats believed it, and some Republicans resented it.
She was also hurt by a Mainland organization's intervention into Hawaii's politics. It rankled local, provincial sensibilities.
Republicans can win elections in Hawaii; it's been done many times before. But they must reach out to the local community and endorse qualified candidates with local connections.