Primary preview: Hawaii state executive elections, 2014

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August 8, 2014

Hawaii

By Maresa Strano

August 8, 2014 Election Preview
StateExecLogo.png

Jump to the section for:
*Hawaii Governor
*Hawaii Lieutenant Governor

HONOLULU, Hawaii: On August 9, Hawaii voters will brave the extreme weather to select the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor and lieutenant governor.[1]

Governor and lieutenant governor are the only state executive positions up for election in 2014 in the state of Hawaii. Hawaii is one of only three states, the others being New Jersey and Tennessee, where the governor/lieutenant governor ticket is the only statewide elected office.

Both incumbents, Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui, are seeking re-election and face heavy primary challenges.[2]

The winners of the four executive primary contests will join a slew of already-filed third party and unaffiliated candidates on the November ballot. While nominees for governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately in the primary, they run on single ticket in the general election.

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]

Below, Ballotpedia has put together a preview of those upcoming elections.

In Hawaii, polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Hawaii Time.[6]



Hawaii Governor

See also: Hawaii Gubernatorial election, 2014

General election

Republican Party Duke Aiona/Elwin Ahu[7]
Democratic Party David Ige/Shan TsutsuiGreen check mark transparent.png[8]
Libertarian Party Jeff Davis/Cindy Marlin[9]
Independent Independent Party candidates Mufi Hannemann/Les Chang[10]

Lost in the primary

Gubernatorial

Democratic Party Neil Abercrombie - Incumbent[11]
Democratic Party Van Tanabe[2]
Republican Party Charles Collins - Retired businessman, artist, frequent candidate[2]
Republican Party Stuart Gregory - Frequent candidate[2]

Lieutenant gubernatorial

Democratic Party Clayton Hee - State Sen.[12]
Democratic Party Sam Puletasi - State Medical Board Member[2]
Democratic Party Miles Shiratori - Lifeguard, Real Estate Investor[2]
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]

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.

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]


Hawaii Lieutenant Governor

See also: Hawaii Lieutenant Gubernatorial election, 2014

General election

Democratic Party Shan Tsutsui - Incumbent
Republican Party Elwin Ahu[2]
Independent Les Chang[2]
Libertarian Party Cindy Marlin[33]

Defeated in primary

Democratic Party Clayton Hee - State Sen.[34]
Democratic Party Sam Puletasi - State Medical Board Member[2]
Democratic Party Miles Shiratori - Lifeguard, Real Estate Investor[2]
Democratic Party Mary Zanakis - Television documentary producer[35]
Republican Party Kimo Sutton[36]

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.

Race background

Shan Tsutsui (D) became Hawaii Lieutenant Governor following his appointment by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on December 27, 2012.[37] Tsutsui was tapped to fill the role vacated by former-Lt. Gov Brian E. Schatz (D), whom Abercrombie had appointed to replace the late Daniel Inouye (D) in the U.S. Senate, effective December 26.[38] Tsutsui will serve out the remainder of Schatz's term, ending in January of 2015, and ran for a full term as lieutenant governor in November 2014.[39][40]


See also

Ballotpedia News

References

  1. The Washington Post, "Hurricanes roil historic Hawaii primary and could boost challengers," August 7, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Hawaii Division of Elections, "2014 Primary Candidate List: Certified," June 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. State of Hawaii - Office of Elections, "Home page," accessed January 3, 2014
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named duke
  8. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ige
  9. Jeff Davis for Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Meet Jeff," accessed February 18, 2014
  10. Hawaii News Now, "Hannemann supporters reach goal, will Mufi run?," February 21, 2014
  11. Neil Abercrombie for Governor 2014 Official Campaign Website, "Homepage," accessed September 3, 2013
  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. Hawaii Reporter, "Hawaii's Libertarian Candidates Field Record Number of Candidates," June 9, 2014
  34. Hawaii News Now, "Clayton Hee announces run for Lt. Governor," May 11, 2014
  35. Mary Zanakis for Lieutenant Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage" accessed June 30, 2014
  36. Kimo Sutton for Lieutenant Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed June 30, 2014
  37. Hawaii Reporter, "Senate President Shan Tsutsui Named Hawaii's 12th Lieutenant Governor," December 27, 2012
  38. Star Advertiser, "Abercrombie picks Schatz to replace Inouye in U.S. Senate," December 26, 2012
  39. Star Advertiser, "Tsutsui announces run to keep lieutenant governor's seat" accessed June 14, 2013
  40. Hawaii News Now, "Tsutsui begins lieutenant gov re-election campaign" accessed June 14, 2013