Hawaii Governor Candidates for Governor, HI Election Race 2014
Hawaii Candidates for Governor
State Primary is August 9, 2014
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Hawaii Governor Election Race
Republican Governor Candidates
Duke Aiona (R)
Charles Djou (R)
Democrat Governor Candidates
Neil Abercrombie (D)
David Ige (D)
Hawaii Candidates for US Congress from HI
Hawaii Congressional Candidates
Ikaika Anderson (D)
Stanley Chang (D)
Will Espero (D)
Mufi Hannemann (D)
Donna Mercado Kim (D)
Hannah Miyamoto (D)
Mark Takai (D)
Jill Tokuda (D)
Kathryn Xian (D)
Charles Djou (R)
Linda Lingle (R)
Tulsi Gabbard (D)
History of Hawaii. Information that every Hawaii Election
Candidates for US Governor Should Know:
When Captain James Cook arrived in the Islands in 1778, he and his crew were the first Westerners to observe the rich Polynesian culture that had evolved over the course of centuries. As specially adapted as the plants and animals that thrived so far from other land, the Hawaiian people had learned to use their resources with ingenuity, skill and art, developing a lifestyle of abundance, deep spirituality and ample leisure.
Cook's arrival marked the advent of a new era for Hawaii, a time of monumental change that included opportunities, admiration and sharing as well as destruction, disease and death. Cook's own visit was a mixture of pleasure and pain as cultural signals were exchanged but often missed their mark and Cook was killed during a skirmish. Cooks published journals told the world about Hawaii and thus they were never left in isolation again. After Cook came George Vancouver, another British navigator, and after him came other ships from France, Russia, America and elsewhere.
As adventurers and traders began to frequent the Islands, the native subsistence economy changed to accommodate foreigners and foreign goods. Hawaiians acquired new materials and products - everything from iron tools to expensive furniture and fabrics that were not necessarily put to practical use but were valued as status symbols. New animals and plants arrived as well. Grazing animals like cattle, goats and sheep and invasive plant species made a major impact on the environment, drastically altering forests and overrunning defenseless native species. Hawaiians themselves caused serious damage as they cashed in on Chinese demand for sandalwood. With trade still controlled by ali`i, individual chiefs made fortunes by denuding the forests they controlled.
The sandalwood trade breezed through its boom and bust cycle in fairly short order, but it was soon replaced by whaling. American and European whalers hunting in Arctic waters wintered in Hawaii, their resupply needs supporting new ventures in farming and cattle ranching. Old traditions of farming and fishing deteriorated as a cash economy took over trade transactions. The changing economics mirrored changes throughout Hawaiian society. The king instituted a formal change in land tenure in 1848 with the Mahele.
Hawaii Governor Race Preview
The Aloha State, home state of President Barack Obama, is one of the most Democratic in the nation if ideology is judged by presidential vote. Since Ronald Reagan's landslide win in 1984 in which he carried 49 of 50 states - including Hawaii - only Democrats Michael Dukakis in 1988 and John Kerry in 2004 failed to win Hawaii by less than 10 points. And Obama's status as homeboy resulted in blowout routs of 45% and 42% in 2008 and 2012, respectively.
In the Senate, the results have been similar - if not even more tilted toward the blue team - with Senators Daniel Akaka and the late Daniel Inouye dominating each Hawaii Senate election between 1990 and 2010. Neither Daniel remains in the Senate, but if Mazio Hirono's 25-point open seat cakewalk in 2012 and this year's solidly Democratic Senate election are any indications, Democrats will maintain their dominance for the foreseeable future.
There is one office that Hawaii Democrats don't enjoy such lopsided advantages - the Governor's Mansion. That's mainly due to one woman, Republican Linda Lingle. After narrowly losing to incumbent Governor Benjamin Cayetano by just over a point in 1998, Lingle went on to win two terms as Hawaii's chief executive, serving from 2002 through 2010. Though she was restricted from running for a third term in Honolulu, Lingle was free to go after a seat in the Senate. In 2012, she did just that, entering the race for retiring Senator Akaka's open seat. Despite her success in statewide gubernatorial elections, she lost badly to the aforementioned Hirono.
The open statehouse election she left behind in 2010 featured two prominent Hawaii political figures, Lingle's Lt Governor Duke Aiona, Jr., Republican, and Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Democrat. Aiona proved to be no match for Abercrombie as the Democrat captured one of many partisan statehouse takeovers that year.
Fast forward four years to the 2014 Hawaii Governor race. At first glance, Abercrombie would appear to be an easy re-election bet. He's a Democrat from a deep blue state who is currently presiding over an improving state economy and a record budget surplus of $844 million. However, despite those favorable factors, Hawaiians largely disapprove of his job performance. And a recent poll has provided startling evidence of the incumbent governor's poor standing.
Just this week, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now released a survey giving former Lt. Governor Aiona an eye-popping eight-point lead over Abercrombie. (Coincidentally, Aiona has recently announced plans to mount a gubernatorial election rematch in 2014.) The same poll put Abercrombie's approval at just 43% and gave him an unsettling single-digit edge over his strongest primary opponent, State Senator David Ige.
Clearly, Abercrombie is struggling right now with his constituents. However, one poll does not a trend make and he still has time to benefit from Hawaii's improving economy. As University of Hawaii Assistant Political Science Professor Colin Moore has said:
Assuming he survives the primary and goes on to face Aiona in the general, I believe he stands a very good chance of winning - despite being 8 points behind in that one poll. That said, I don't believe this race will be the kind of trouncing Democrats have become used to here, Ms. Lingle notwithstanding.