Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


Hawaii Primary Roundup

Bookmark and Share

Neil Abercrombie is the first Hawaii governor to lose a renomination bid while Brian Schatz avoided becoming the first Aloha State U.S. Senator to do so

neilabercrombie10.jpgOne-term Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie made headlines a little over a week ago not by losing to State Senator David Ige as all polls suggested he would, but failing to win even half the support of his opponent.

Abercrombie's loss marked the first time in Hawaii history that a sitting governor seeking reelection failed to win his party's nomination.

Aloha State governors had previously been successful in each of the previous eight renomination attempts since statehood: Republican William Quinn (1962), Democrat John Burns (1966, 1970), Democrat George Ariyoshi (1978, 1982), Democrat John Waihee (1990), Democrat Benjamin Cayetano (1998), and Republican Linda Lingle (2006).

The 31.4 percent won by Abercrombie was less than half of the vote carried by Ige (67.5 percent) in the three-candidate field.

While that is abysmally low, it is not the worst primary performance in recent years by a sitting governor: in 2006, Alaska Republican Frank Murkowski mustered just 19.1 percent of the primary vote in a five-candidate field won by Sarah Palin.

Four years later, Nevada Republican Governor Jim Gibbons tallied only 27.2 percent in a five-candidate field won by Brian Sandoval.

Abercrombie is the only governor seeking reelection to lose his or her renomination bid so far this cycle and the first Democratic governor to lose a primary since Bruce Sundllin of Rhode Island lost to Myrth York in 1994.

Overall, Abercrombie is the 26th sitting governor of either party to lose a renomination bid over the last 50 years.

In the much more suspenseful Democratic U.S. Senate primary, it took an extra week to make incumbent Brian Schatz the official winner, by 0.7 points.

Schatz edged Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa by less than 1,800 votes in one of the most-watched primaries of the cycle to date.

With his victory, Senator Schatz keeps alive the perfect renomination record by Hawaii U.S. Senators since statehood.

Incumbents seeking reelection have been renominated in all 17 attempts: Republican Hiram Fong (1964, 1970), Democrat Daniel Inouye (1968, 1974, 1980, 1986, 1992, 1998, 2004, 2010), Democrat Spark Matsunaga (1982, 1988), Democrat Daniel Akaka (1990, 1994, 2000, 2006), and Democrat Brian Schatz (2014).

Hawaii is one of just eight states in which U.S. Senators seeking reelection have never lost their party's nomination along with Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wyoming.

Follow Smart Politics on Twitter.

Previous post: Minnesota Republican Gubernatorial Primary Roundup
Next post: Wyoming Primary Election Results By the Numbers

Leave a comment


Remains of the Data

No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

Political Crumbs

Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


An Idaho Six Pack

Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


more POLITICAL CRUMBS

Humphrey School Sites
CSPG
Humphrey New Media Hub

Issues />

<div id=
Abortion
Afghanistan
Budget and taxes
Campaign finances
Crime and punishment
Economy and jobs
Education
Energy
Environment
Foreign affairs
Gender
Health
Housing
Ideology
Immigration
Iraq
Media
Military
Partisanship
Race and ethnicity
Reapportionment
Redistricting
Religion
Sexuality
Sports
Terrorism
Third parties
Transportation
Voting