December 10th, 2014
Gov. David Ige was one of 10 candidates for governor across the country to win this year with a plurality of the vote.
Eric Ostermeier, a research associate at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs who writes the Smart Politics blog, found that it was only the third time in the past century that governors elected with a plurality hit double digits. All of those occasions have been since 2002.
Ostermeier cites competitive independent and third-party campaigns as one of the reasons.
In Hawaii, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who ran for governor under the fledgling Hawaii Independent Party banner, finished third with a disappointing 12 percent of the vote. Without the former Democrat in the race, however, Ige would likely have broken 50 percent against former Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona, the Republican.
Here are the other governors elected this year with a plurality, according to Smart Politics:
Independent Bill Walker of Alaska (48.1 percent), Democrats John Hickenlooper of Colorado (49.3 percent), David Ige of Hawaii (49.5 percent), John Kitzhaber of Oregon (48.9 percent), Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island (40.7 percent), and Peter Shumlin of Vermont (46.4 percent), and Republicans Rick Scott of Florida (48.1 percent), Sam Brownback of Kansas (49.9 percent), Paul LePage of Maine (48.2 percent), and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts (48.4 percent).