The drama taking place in Puna on Hawaii Island in the Democratic primary for Senate between U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa has overshadowed the other big story from Saturday's primary: Gov. Neil Abercrombie's staggering loss.
Abercrombie's loss to state Sen. David Ige in the Democratic primary was the first time an incumbent governor lost in Hawaii since 1962 and the only time a governor fell in a primary.
Geoffrey Skelley, associate editor at Sabato's Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, wrote Tuesday that Abercrombie's defeat may be the worst ever by an incumbent governor in U.S. history.
The old record was held by Preston Smith (D-TX), who lost renomination in 1972 by 35.2 points, receiving only 8.7% of the vote and failing to make it to the Texas Democratic runoff, which Dolph Briscoe went on to win. In states without runoffs, the next-biggest loss is Frank Murkowski’s defeat by Sarah Palin in Alaska’s 2006 GOP primary.