Political Radar

Top 15

May 20th, 2014

We did not catch it at the time, but The Fix, the Washington Post's politics blog, added Hawaii to the list of the top 15 governor's races after former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced his independent campaign.

From the blog:

15. Hawaii (Democratic-controlled): Massachusetts comes off of our top 15 after two polls showed state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) up double-digits in the general election and – perhaps as importantly for Democrats – one of them showed her ahead by 31 points in the Democratic primary. On comes Hawaii, where former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann announced Thursday that he is running as an Independent Party candidate. This could complicate matters for already-unpopular Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D), who defeated Hannemann in the 2010 Democratic primary. Former lieutenant governor Duke Aiona (R) also running. He was defeated by Abercrombie in 2010. (Previous ranking: N/A)

16 Responses to “Top 15”

  1. Michelle Del Rosario:

    For the Washington Post to say that the Hawaii Governors race could change party control is significant and gives credence to why the Hawaii Independent Party movement is being well received by Hawaii voters.

  2. ohiaforest3400:

    Even if Abercrombie can be expected to win the primary, it's curious that WashPo omits to mention David Ige's primary candidacy and the negative effect it could have on Neil's war chest before the general election campaign even starts.

  3. Especially Incognito:

    Native Hawaiians want to be sovereign.

    Mainland politicians don't realize that Hawaii
    is a State..Tourists come here not thinking.

  4. Kolea:

    I agree the Post missed the story by omitting any mention of David Ige's primary challenge to Abercrombie. I think Ige is the biggest threat to Abercrombie's re-election prospects. If Neil survives Ige, I think the anti-Neil vote will split between Aiona and Hannemann's, with Neil winning a plurality in the General.

    If, as I think possible, Ige pulls off an upset in the primary to get the Democratic nomination, I think the anti-Neil sentiment melts away and Ige wins the General with better numbers than Neil would receive.

    It would be an over-simplification to say Hannemann will serve as a spoiler in this race. Even if Mufi were not in the race, Aiona is seen as too much of a religious zealot wanting to establish a "Christian" government over the people of Hawaii. But without control over government contracts with which to extract campaign contributions through the traditional "pay-to-play" system, Hannemann won't have the ability to raise the funds nor benefit from the "volunteer" campaign workers from the building trades.

    I predict the Democrat will win, followed by Aiona, with Mufi coming in slightly behind Aiona.

  5. Dhevhan Keith:

    People are starting to take Mufi Hannemann for Governor seriously due to his solid career path and strong leadership experience. He is a born leader and he is not afraid to stand up for what he believes in and has proven himself by making tough decisions for the betterment of the people of Hawaii.

  6. Guy:

    Kolea, I'm not so sure Ige would do so well against Aiona or Mufi. Would democrats forgive Ige for standing in the way of a minimum wage increase for years -- except when it benefited him politically this year in his bid for the 5th floor? Plus, Mufi especially would dominate Ige in a debate.

  7. Tyrion Lannister:

    We can all agree that WaPo got it right...it will be a good one to watch. Ige in the primary is a BIG part of the story...especially if Hee sneaks in and knocks Tsutsui out of the box. Then have an uber liberal ticket against the far right religious crowd....and Mufi in the middle looking better all the time.

  8. ForwardObserver:

    The foregoing comments analyze the candidates' chances based on their ideological appeal. Ideology will have less to do with the outcome than money and voter apathy. Neil already has enough money on hand to neutralize both David and Mufi. The greatest advantage Neil's opponents have will be voter apathy and low turnout. Neil might be unpopular but I don't exactly see an upswell of enthusiasm for any of the challengers.

  9. Pay to play is the game:

    Anyone but Neil, Mufi, or Aiona! Please no more shibai!

  10. WestSideTory:

    Kolea..."religious zealot" REALLY!!! Since when does having a strong religious faith make you a zealot. I guess that makes Neil, Mufi and Ige "socialists" because of their strong belief that government is the answer to all our problems.

  11. Especially Incognito:

    Coming from an atheist with buddhistic attacks, makes reason to.

  12. Especially Incognito:

    The other 49 States don't even care about Hawaii.

  13. Tiki808:

    Already bad mouth Hannemann's mayor's tenure. No chance of him getting as an independent for Governor's seat. Publicly not that strong on the last election. Only 67,000 votes, just about maybe a few more to his run as congress, and not enough votes. Not voting for this guy for the same reason.

  14. Kolea:

    Tory, Aiona's affiliation with Transformation Hawaii's goal of making Hawaii's government "Christian" IS the position of a religious zealot. Perhaps you cannot see this because you are so far to the right that Aiona looks moderate from your perspective. He is not.

    As for my predictions, I don't see anyone else here making serious predictions which can later be assessed for their accuracy. I am not predicting Ige will defeat Neil. I am saying it is a very real possibility. I AM saying whichever of them which takes the Democratic nomination will win in the General Election, with Mufi coming in last. Mufi is a spent force in Hawaii politics. His fans may dispute this, but that last two elections are pretty good evidence. His creation of a third party is a desperate "Statue of Liberty" play, which be so out of the ordinary that some people think it is therefore difficult to anticipate its effect. Sorry. It is not. He will lose. None of the others running on the HIP ticket will be elected. Because it has ballot status, someone might try to use it again next election. But it will collapse like a balloon.

  15. Sandra Sagisi:

    Mufi Hannemann is a well known name both locally and nationally so I am not surprised why he is in the Washington Post's Top 15 governor's race ranking. His leadership role in the US Conference of Mayors when he served as chair of the Tourism, Arts, Parks, Entertainment, and Sports Committee has helped him garner national respect. The Mayor will no doubt be a top contender in the general election (11-4-2014), and voters will soon see that his executive experience running a city and having worked under four U. S. presidents means Hawaii has an opportunity to make a change by electing a public servant who can run our state and serve the people."

  16. Especially Incognito:

    Francis thinks 3rd World.

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