By Derrick DePledge
Gov. Neil Abercrombie said Friday that a contributing factor in his Democratic primary loss to state Sen. David Ige was that Republican voters participated in the Democratic primary "en masse."
But the share of voters who cast ballots for Republicans -- 15.2 percent -- was about the same as in recent elections, as was overall voter turnout.
As the Hawaii Poll and other polls have predicted, most voters in recent elections have chosen to participate in Democratic primaries.
A rough calculation of the Republican voter base in Hawaii is about 30 percent, yet only about half of that share has been voting in Republican primaries in recent elections.
The low point was 11.7 percent in the 2006 primary, a year when the marquee race was U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka and U.S. Rep. Ed Case in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Case, a moderate, had appealed to Republicans -- and all voters -- to participate in the primary.
The high point was 54.6 percent in the 1998 primary, when Linda Lingle -- the future governor -- defeated former Honolulu Mayor Frank Fasi for the Republican nomination for governor.
Here is a snapshot of the recent Republican share of primary turnout:
2014: 15.2% (44,142 voters)
2012: 16.8% (49,044)
2010: 15.6% (45,733)
2008: 17.2% (42,499)
2006: 11.7% (32,698)
2004: 23.8% (60,222)
2002: 29% (79,871)
2000: 24.3% (61,178)
1998: 54.6% (159,126)