Hawaii gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2014

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Hawaii Gubernatorial and Lieutenant Gubernatorial Election

Primary Date:
August 9, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

Incumbent prior to election:
Neil Abercrombie Democratic Party
Shan Tsutsui Democratic Party
November 4 Election Winners:
David Ige Democratic Party
Shan Tsutsui Democratic Party
Gov. Neil Abercrombie
Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui

Hawaii State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
Governor Lieutenant Governor

Current trifecta for Democrats
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State executive offices in Hawaii
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The Hawaii gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Neil Abercrombie (D) ran for re-election but lost the Democratic primary against state Sen. David Ige on August 9. The race to replace Abercrombie featured the Democratic ticket of Ige and Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, Republican candidates Duke Aiona and Elwin Ahu, the Libertarian Party ticket of Jeff Davis and Cindy Marlin and Independent Party candidates Mufi Hannemann and Les Chang. Ige and Tsutsui won concurrent four-year terms in the general election.

The race was rated a "toss-up" by The Cook Political Report and Governing, among numerous other political analysts and publications.[1][2] Learn more about developments in this race, including Abercrombie's primary defeat, in the race background section.

The competitive gubernatorial contest was the only race on the November ballot that threatened to shift the partisan balance of power in Hawaii. Going into the 2014 elections, both chambers of the state legislature and the governorship were held by the Democratic Party, making Hawaii a state government trifecta, or a single-party government. The Hawaii House of Representatives and Hawaii State Senate were considered safe Democratic, but if the governor's office turned red, Hawaii would have lost its trifecta status. Learn more about the state's most competitive legislative races in 2014 on the battleground chambers page.

Hawaii is one of 14 states that uses an open primary system, in which registered voters do not have to be members of a party to vote in that party's primary.[3][4][5] The primary took place on August 9.

Candidates

General election

Republican Party Duke Aiona/Elwin Ahu[6]
Democratic Party David Ige/Shan TsutsuiGreen check mark transparent.png[7]
Libertarian Party Jeff Davis/Cindy Marlin[8]
Independent Independent Party candidates Mufi Hannemann/Les Chang[9]

Lost in the primary

Gubernatorial

Democratic Party Neil Abercrombie - Incumbent[10]
Democratic Party Van Tanabe[11]
Republican Party Charles Collins - Retired businessman, artist, frequent candidate[11]
Republican Party Stuart Gregory - Frequent candidate[11]

Lieutenant gubernatorial

Democratic Party Clayton Hee - State Sen.[12]
Democratic Party Sam Puletasi - State Medical Board Member[11]
Democratic Party Miles Shiratori - Lifeguard, Real Estate Investor[11]
Democratic Party Mary Zanakis - Television documentary producer[13]
Republican Party Kimo Sutton[14]

Disqualified

Independent (Nonpartisan) Misty Davis[15]
Independent (Nonpartisan) Khistina Dejean[15]
Independent (Nonpartisan) Richard Morse, Jr.[15]

Withdrawn

Independent (Nonpartisan) Joe Spatola - Entertainer[15]

Results

General election

Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Ige/Shan Tsutsui 49.5% 181,065
     Republican Duke Aiona/Elwin Ahu 37.1% 135,742
     Independent Mufi Hannemann/Les Chang 11.7% 42,925
     Libertarian Jeff Davis/Cindy Marlin 1.7% 6,393
Total Votes 366,125
Election Results via Hawaii Office of Elections.

Primary election

Democratic primary

Gubernatorial
Governor of Hawaii, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDavid Ige 67.4% 157,050
Neil Abercrombie Incumbent 31.5% 73,507
Van Tanabe 1.1% 2,622
Total Votes 233,179
Election Results Via:Hawaii Division of Elections.
Lieutenant gubernatorial
Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngShan Tsutsui Incumbent 53.7% 120,779
Clayton Hee 36.1% 81,255
Mary Zanakis 8.1% 18,174
Miles Shiratori 1.2% 2,593
Sam Puletasi 0.9% 2,126
Total Votes 224,927
Election Results Via:Hawaii Division of Elections.

Republican primary

Gubernatorial
Governor of Hawaii, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDuke Aiona 97.2% 41,832
Stuart Gregory 1.5% 640
Charles Collins 1.3% 580
Total Votes 43,052
Election Results Via:Hawaii Division of Elections.
Lieutenant gubernatorial
Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngElwin Ahu 70.6% 27,678
Kimo Sutton 29.4% 11,511
Total Votes 39,189
Election Results Via:Hawaii Division of Elections.


Race background

Defeat for Abercrombie

Wavering approval numbers, key endorsement losses and the emergence of formidable challengers in both the primary and general election placed Abercrombie at the top of the list of most vulnerable seats in the 2014 gubernatorial election cycle. In the months leading up to the primary, inconsistent polling data and conflicting race projections thickened the air of uncertainty hanging over Abercrombie's re-election bid. Still, David Ige's upset by a 2-to-1 margin marked a stunning early elimination for the incumbent despite Abercrombie's 10-to-1 spending advantage.[16][17][18][19][20] The last time a sitting Hawaii Governor ran for re-election and failed was in 1962, when Republican William Francis Quinn, who, in addition to being Hawaii's first governor was also its first and only lame-duck governor, until Abercrombie. Quinn was unseated in the 1962 general election by Democratic challenger John Anthony Burns.[21]

In the aftermath of the primary, Abercrombie attributed his defeat to his decision to call a special session to legalize gay marriage in November 2013. According to Abercrombie, Republican opponents of gay marriage took advantage of the Democratic Party's open primary to vote en masse for Ige, who supported Abercrombie's push for the measure in the legislature. Abercrombie further argued that his absence in the general election paved the way for the Republicans to reclaim the governor's seat in the general election and ultimately block the measure's progress.[22]

Vulnerable seat

As far back as November 2013, several factors besides the gay marriage issue indicated Abercrombie could be at risk of losing re-election in 2014, beginning with long-time Hawaii lawmaker David Ige's entry into the Democratic primary race. Ige has been the state Sen. for District 16 since 1994 and currently serves as chair of the chamber's Ways and Means Committee. Abercrombie trailed Ige in each of the Democratic primary polls taken after the June 3 candidate filing deadline, including a Honolulu Civil Beat Poll of likely Democratic voters conducted by Merriman River Group about a week before the primary showing Ige leading 51 percent to 41 percent.[23][24] Despite having secured the endorsement of fellow Hawaii native President Barack Obama (D), more attention was paid to Ige's endorsements from ex-governors Ben Cayetano and George Ariyoshi. Both ex-governors are influential Hawaii Democrats who were previously considered close allies of Abercrombie.[25][26]

Controversy over U.S. Senate appointment

The notable defections of Cayetano and Ariyoshi may have stemmed from Abercrombie's controversial December 2012 decision to appoint then-Lieutenant Governor Brian E. Schatz (D) to fill the open U.S. Senate seat left by the death of veteran Senator Daniel Inouye (D). Abercrombie's decision to appoint Schatz meant defying Inouye's deathbed wish for the appointment of U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa as his replacement.[27][28] Abercrombie was required to appoint one of three individuals submitted by the state party of the incumbent, and Hanabusa—in addition to being Inouye's stated preference—had topped the list of early contenders, therefore the governor's call angered some members of the party.[29][30][31] After the Senate post was given to Schatz, Hanabusa threatened a challenge to Abercrombie in the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary nomination.[32] Although Hanabusa ultimately decided to pursue a full term in Inouye's seat in the 2014 election, a measure of residual ill-will toward Abercrombie may have existed among the state's Democratic elite and possibly affected his chances of winning a second term.

Aiona's second run for governor

If Abercrombie had survived Ige's primary challenge, another threat would have awaited him in the second phase of the election in the form of ex-Hawaii Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona. Aiona was the 2010 Republican gubernatorial nominee and lost the office to Abercrombie four years ago. Aiona launched his second bid in early 2014 in hopes of staging a general election rematch with Abercrombie. Polls taken prior to Abercrombie's primary knockout reinforced expectations of a tight general election contest between the former foes.[23] On August 9, Aiona won the GOP nomination for the second consecutive cycle, earning 97 percent of the vote in a three-way race.[19]

Debates

October 15 debate

David Ige (D), Duke Aiona (R) and Mufi Hannemann (I) shared the stage during a debate sponsored by Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. Many of the questions offered by University of Hawaii students were left unanswered as the candidates focused on criticizing the records of their opponents. Hannemann criticized Ige and fellow legislators for rising electrical costs and public school woes. He argued that Hawaii voters should question whether Ige could lead the way after struggling to resolve these issues during 29 years in the legislature. Ige responded that legislators have to reach consensus on major issues and that he is "running for governor because I know I can't do it as a legislator...I have to be governor to make these things work."[33]

Ige trained his attack against Aiona, asking why the former lieutenant has selected some policies from his tenure to support while claiming no influence over other issues. Aiona responded that the Democratic candidate should ask former Gov. Linda Lingle that question. He also countered that voters could ask a similar question of Ige because he is running with current Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui.[33]

Republican primary

Debate for Republican candidates for lieutenant governor.

Polls

Hawaii Governor - General Election
Poll David Ige (D) Duke Aiona (R)Mufi Hannemann (I)OtherUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen
September 9-10, 2014
40%39%14%2%6%+/-4750
New York Times/CBS/YouGov
September 20-October 1, 2014
41%35%6%0%18%+/-41,319
Merriman River
October 16-19, 2014
40%34%11%6%8%+/-2.81,221
New York Times/CBS/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
54%22%5%0%19%+/-61,002
AVERAGES 43.75% 32.5% 9% 2% 12.75% +/-4.2 1,073
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Primary election

Governor of Hawaii - Democratic Primary
Poll Neil Abercrombie* David IgeUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
February 1-11, 2014
47%38%14%+/-4.3528
Honolulu Civil Beat/Merriman River Group
February 12-15, 2014
37%37%26%+/-3.1643
Honolulu Civil Beat/Merriman River Group
June 7-9, 2014
37%48%15%+/-3.0729
Honolulu Civil Beat/Merriman River Group (Survey of likely voters)
July 24-28, 2014
41%51%8%+/-3.3895
AVERAGES 40.5% 43.5% 15.75% +/-3.43 698.75
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

General Election Hypothetical Match-up

Three way match-up (includes Hannemann)
Poll Neil Abercrombie* (D) Duke Aiona (R)Mufi Hannemann (I)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Honolulu Civil Beat/Merriman River Group
June 7-9, 2014
27%33%22%+/-3.01,078
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.
Abercrombie vs. Aiona
Poll Neil Abercrombie* (D) Duke Aiona (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Honolulu Star-Advertiser
February 1-11, 2014
40%48%12%+/-3.9642
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.

Lieutenant gubernatorial primary

Hawaii Lieutenant Governor, Democratic Primary
Poll Shan Tsutsui* Clayton HeeMary ZanakisMiles ShiratoriUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Hawaii News Now Poll
July 2014
36%34%7%2%21%+/-4.6458
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org.


Campaign media

Outside organizations

Hawaii Forward


Hawaii Forward ad: Closer

Hawaii Forward ad: Best

Republican Governors Association


RGA ad: Our Future

Past elections

2010

On November 2, 2010, Neil Abercrombie and Brian Schatz won election as Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii. They defeated the Aiona/Finnegan (R), Cunningham/Spence (F) and Pollard/Kama (NP) ticket(s) in the general election.

Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngNeil Abercrombie & Brian Schatz 58.2% 222,724
     Republican Duke Aiona & Lynn Finnegan 41.1% 157,311
     Free Energy Daniel Cunningham & Deborah Spence 0.3% 1,265
     Nonpartisan Tom Pollard & Leonard Kama 0.3% 1,263
Total Votes 382,563
Election Results Via: Hawaii Office of Elections

Voter turnout

Political scientist Michael McDonald's United States Elections Project studied voter turnout in the 2014 election by looking at the percentage of eligible voters who headed to the polls. McDonald used voting-eligible population (VEP), or the number of eligible voters independent of their current registration status, to calculate turnout rates in each state on November 4. He also incorporated ballots cast for the highest office in each state into his calculation. He estimated that 82,596,338 ballots were cast in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, representing 36.4 percent of the VEP.[34] By comparison, 61.6 percent of VEP voted in the 2008 presidential election and 58.2 percent of VEP voted in the 2012 presidential election.[35]

Quick facts

  • According to PBS Newshour, voter turnout in the 2014 midterms was the lowest since the 1942 midterms, which took place during the nation's involvement in World War II.[36]
  • Forty-three states and the District of Columbia failed to surpass 50 percent turnout in McDonald's analysis.
  • The three states with the lowest turnout according to McDonald's analysis were Indiana (28 percent), Texas (28.5 percent) and Utah (28.8 percent).
  • Maine (59.3 percent), Wisconsin (56.9 percent) and Alaska (55.3 percent) were the three states with the highest turnout.
  • There were only 12 states that increased voter turnout in 2014 compared to the 2010 midterm elections.[37]
Voter turnout rates, 2014
State Total votes for top office  % voter eligible population Top statewide office up for election Size of lead (Raw votes) Size of lead (%)
Alabama 1,200,000 33.5 Governor 320,319 27.2
Alaska 290,000 55.3 Governor 4,004 1.6
Arizona 1,550,000 34.4 Governor 143,951 12.5
Arkansas 875,000 41.2 Governor 118,664 14
California 7,750,000 31.8 Governor 1,065,748 17.8
Colorado 2,025,000 53.0 Governor 50,395 2.4
Connecticut 1,089,880 42.3 Governor 26,603 2.5
Delaware 234,038 34.4 Attorney general 31,155 13.6
District of Columbia 150,000 30.3 Mayor 27,934 19
Florida 5,951,561 42.7 Governor 66,127 1.1
Georgia 2,575,000 38.2 Governor 202,685 8
Hawaii 366,125 36.2 Governor 45,323 12.4
Idaho 440,000 39.1 Governor 65,852 14.9
Illinois 3,550,000 39.5 Governor 171,900 4.9
Indiana 1,350,000 28.0 Secretary of state 234,978 17.8
Iowa 1,150,000 50.6 Governor 245,548 21.8
Kansas 875,000 42.8 Governor 33,052 3.9
Kentucky 1,440,000 44.2 U.S. Senate 222,096 15.5
Louisiana 1,472,039 43.8 U.S. Senate 16,401 1.1
Maine 625,000 59.3 Governor 29,820 4.9
Maryland 1,750,000 41.9 Governor 88,648 6.1
Massachusetts 2,150,000 43.9 Governor 40,361 1.9
Michigan 3,151,835 42.7 Governor 129,547 4.3
Minnesota 2,025,000 51.3 Governor 109,776 5.6
Mississippi 650,000 29.7 U.S. Senate 141,234 33
Missouri 1,450,000 32.3 Auditor 684,074 53.6
Montana 365,000 46.1 U.S. Senate 65,262 17.9
Nebraska 550,000 41.3 Governor 97,678 18.7
Nevada 600,000 31.8 Governor 255,793 46.7
New Hampshire 500,000 48.8 Governor 24,924 5.2
New Jersey 1,825,000 30.4 N/A N/A N/A
New Mexico 550,000 38.3 Governor 73,868 14.6
New York 3,900,000 28.8 Governor 476,252 13.4
North Carolina 2,900,000 40.7 U.S. Senate 48,511 1.7
North Dakota 248,670 43.8 U.S. House At-large seat 42,214 17.1
Ohio 3,150,000 36.2 Governor 933,235 30.9
Oklahoma 825,000 29.8 Governor 122,060 14.7
Oregon 1,500,000 52 Governor 59,029 4.5
Pennsylvania 3,500,000 36.1 Governor 339,261 9.8
Rhode Island 325,000 41.7 Governor 14,346 4.5
South Carolina 1,246,301 34.8 Governor 179,089 14.6
South Dakota 279,412 44.5 Governor 124,865 45.1
Tennessee 1,400,000 29.1 Governor 642,214 47.5
Texas 4,750,000 28.5 Governor 957,973 20.4
Utah 550,000 28.8 Attorney general 173,819 35.2
Vermont 193,087 38.8 Governor 2,095 1.1
Virginia 2,200,000 36.7 U.S. Senate 16,727 0.8
Washington 2,050,000 41.6 N/A N/A N/A
West Virginia 460,000 31.8 U.S. Senate 124,667 27.6
Wisconsin 2,425,000 56.9 Governor 137,607 5.7
Wyoming 168,390 38.7 Governor 52,703 33.6
United States 82,596,338 36.4

Note: Information from the United States Elections Project was last updated on November 19, 2014. The results in this table draw from unofficial results as of November 12, 2014.

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
June 3, 2014 Filing deadline
August 9, 2014 Primary election
November 4, 2014 General election
December 1, 2014 Inauguration day for state executive officials in general election

Recent news

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Hawaii Gubernatorial election, 2014 News Feed

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See also

External links

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Suggest a link

References

  1. The Cook Political Report, "Governors Race Ratings 2014," September 15, 2014
  2. Governing, "2014 Governors Races," September 10, 2014
  3. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  4. Fair Vote, "Congressional and Presidential Primaries: Open, Closed, Semi-Closed, and 'Top Two,'" accessed January 6, 2014
  5. Ballotpedia research conducted December 26, 2013 through January 3, 2014 researching and analyzing various state websites and codes.
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named duke
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ige
  8. Jeff Davis for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Meet Jeff," accessed February 18, 2014
  9. Hawaii News Now, "Hannemann supporters reach goal, will Mufi run?," February 21, 2014
  10. Neil Abercrombie for Governor 2014 Official Campaign Website, "Homepage," accessed September 3, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Hawaii Division of Elections, "2014 Primary Candidate List: Certified," printed June 10, 2014
  12. Hawaii News Now, "Clayton Hee announces run for Lt. Governor," May 11, 2014
  13. Mary Zanakis for Lieutenant Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage" accessed June 30, 2014
  14. Kimo Sutton for Lieutenant Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed June 30, 2014
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 West Hawaii Today, "Nonpartisans in Hawaii governor race disqualified," June 25, 2014
  16. Cook Political Report, "2014 Governors Race Ratings," May 16, 2014
  17. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named reelec
  18. Real Clear Politics, "2014 Governor Races, Ratings Map," accessed June 30, 2014
  19. 19.0 19.1 Hawaii Division of Elections, "Primary Election 2014 Results - Final Summary Report," August 10, 2014
  20. Politico, "Schatz-Hanabusa race too close to call," August 10, 2014
  21. Honolulu Civil Beat, "Ige Holds Healthy Lead Over Abercrombie in Hawaii Governor’s Race," June 12, 2014
  22. USA Today, "Hawaii gov. blames political loss on gay marriage," August 30, 2014
  23. 23.0 23.1 Honolulu Civil Beat, "Ige Holds Healthy Lead Over Abercrombie in Hawaii Governor’s Race," June 12, 2014
  24. Honolulu Civil Beat, "Civil Beat Poll: Ige Maintains Solid Lead Over Abercrombie," July 31, 2014
  25. khon2.com, "HSTA endorses David Ige for governor," February 16, 2014
  26. The Star Advertiser, "Abercrombie loses support of former ally Cayetano," November 17, 2013
  27. Washington Post, "Gov. Abercrombie to appoint Inouye’s replacement," December 17, 2012
  28. The Washington Post, "Hawaii governor picks Brian Schatz for Inouye’s seat," December 26, 2012
  29. WMTW.com, "Inouye gave preference for successor before he died," December 18, 2012
  30. CBS news, "Inouye replacement to be named Wednesday," December 24, 2012
  31. Civil Beat, "Inouye's Last Wish Is Abercrombie's Biggest Burden," December 24, 2012
  32. The Hill, "Source: Hanabusa receiving 'a lot of pressure' to run against Abercrombie," December 27, 2012
  33. 33.0 33.1 Hawaii News Now, "Final televised governor debate had winner and loser, analyst says," October 16, 2014
  34. United States Elections Project, "2014 November General Election Turnout Rates," November 7, 2014
  35. TIME, "Voter Turnout in Midterm Elections Hits 72-Year Low," November 10, 2014
  36. PBS, "2014 midterm election turnout lowest in 70 years," November 10, 2014
  37. U.S. News & World Report, "Midterm Turnout Down in 2014," November 5, 2014