Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Rating Change: Hawaii Governor

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Abercrombie, left, could lose votes to Hannemann. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s only been eight years since Republican Linda Lingle was elected to her second term as governor of Hawaii. But her success in that race overestimates the GOP’s chances in future statewide elections, including this year’s gubernatorial race.

Lingle was Republicans’ best possible candidate for Senate last cycle, and she was crushed, 63 percent to 37 percent, by Democratic Rep. Mazie K. Hirono. That should give anyone pause when handicapping former Lt. Gov. James “Duke” Aiona’s challenge to Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the fall.

But former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann’s decision to run for governor as an independent changes the math of the race. The Honolulu mayor should be a credible enough candidate to raise the possibility of splitting the Democratic vote with Abercrombie, allowing the Republican, Aiona, to win the race with less than 50 percent of the vote.

Hannemann has had his share of election losses, but Abercrombie is a polarizing figure, even within his own party — particularly because of his appointment of Brian Schatz to the Senate over Rep. Colleen Hanabusa after Sen. Daniel K. Inouye died.

Aiona is still a long-shot to win, but Democrats can’t take this race for granted anymore. We’re changing our Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rating of the race from Safe Democrat to Democrat Favored.

  • newmerical

    Doubtful Mufi can pull anything really substantial. Still Safe D.

  • PaiaGirl

    You have this absolutely backwards. Mufi is rightwing. Both he and Aiona cater to the International Transformation Network (the Uganda kill-the-gays cult) and are super-conservative on choice, gays. Both are anti-environmental. Mufi gets some support from the pave-over-Hawaii construction unions but no others.

    Mufi Hannemann and Duke Aiona will split the REPUBLICAN vote.

    Whoever wins the Dem primary will be our next governor.

    • Aaron Landry

      Paia, you’re on the right track, but if Ige wins the primary, Mufi or Aiona will trounce him in the general. You can’t win a campaign with no support and no money, especially against those two.

  • Michelle Del Rosario

    PaiaGirl — in the future, post under your real name and let the light shine on you and your statements. I know former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann personally, and the statements you are making are false. That is why I only post under my real name — Michelle Del Rosario, State Chairwoman for Hawaii Independent Party. The change in status is accurate, but members of our Hawaii community believes it favors Mufi Hannemann. Hannemann has a strong base of voter support from both sides of the aisle — Democrat and Republican; not supplemented by votes from the middle 70% — Independents and voters who vote for a specific candidate or cause.

  • Michelle Del Rosario

    Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann won his last 2 general elections for Mayor of Honolulu. This is where the greater number of voters come out to vote. As a HIP (Hawaii Independent Party) candidate, Hannemann is guaranteed advancement to the general election on 11/04/14. NATHAN GONZALES take a look at the Independent Party movement in Hawaii — you may just decide this seat should be Independent favored!! We do.

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