Hawaii Archive:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

HI-Sen, HI-02 Primary Results Open Thread (Akaka Wins!)

Posted by James L.

It's primary day in Hawaii today. I'm not sure when results will be posted, but it looks like the polls will close around midnight eastern, and presumably results will be posted at the Hawaii Office of Elections website (thanks, Predictor).

I'm weirdly nervous about Akaka-Case given the anti-incumbent sentiment this year (Lieberman, Schwarz, McKinney, Wynn, & Chafee all knocked off or having received close calls) but hopefully Daniel K. will pull through today. I'd be seriously depressed if we'd have to deal with Ed Case in the Senate representing a state that doesn't require his brand of rightward-skewing "centrism" in order to be viable in a general election.

Discuss predictions, results, and thoughts here.

Update: Bumping this one up. The Honolulu Advertiser has a results page up... but this page looks like the best one to follow.

Update (II): It's an Akaka victory, 55-45. Normally I'd say that that's a hairy margin of victory for a incumbent senator, but this primary could have been much, much nastier. Kudos to Case for not going the Lieberman route.

Posted at 10:26 PM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Hawaii | Comments (20) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Sunday, September 17, 2006

HI-Sen: Akaka Leading Case by 13

Posted by James L.

The Honolulu Advertiser has a new poll out showing incumbent Democratic Senator Daniel K. Akaka leading his Liberesque conservative Democrat primary opponent, Rep. Ed Case, by a pretty comfortable margin over a week a way from the Sept. 23 election:

Daniel Akaka (D-Inc.): 51
Ed Case (D): 38
Undecided: 11
MoE: ±4%

Depending on how those undecideds will break, Akaka is looking pretty good on the 23rd. Thank God.

Posted at 01:55 PM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Hawaii | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, July 06, 2006

HI-Sen: Akaka on Shaky Ground

Posted by James L.

I know, I know. It's really hard not to think about the explosive events surrounding the Lamont/Lieberman battle this week. But we shouldn't forget about the other Democratic Senatorial primary battle happening a few thousand miles to the west between Hawai'i Senator Daniel Akaka and Rep. Ed Case. Case is interesting--in many ways, he's kind of like a bizarro Ned Lamont. His bid for Governor in 2002 drew support from a deep reservoir of discontent with the atrophied Hawai'i Democratic Party, while the old guard watched him with an unfriendly eye. While he lost a close primary, he won election to the House on Nov. 30, 2002 in a special election following the death of Congresswoman Patsy Mink. However, in Congress, Case has left a mediocre-to-disappointing record, ranking as 164th in the Democratic caucus on progressive issues. Akaka, meanwhile, is ranked 12th in the Senate. I'm not in favor of litmus tests or ideological rigidity, but replacing an anti-war incumbent with someone who boasts about how he would have voted for the Iraq War Resolution (had he been in Congress at the time) is borderline insane. If Akaka is knocked out on the Sept. 23 Democratic primary, we may be finding ourselves taking one step back for the step forward that we may get with Ned Lamont.

Can Akaka be beaten? Yes, it's not undoable. For starters, Akaka has acquired a something of a reputation for not getting much accomplished in the Senate compared to his colleague Sen. Daniel Inouye. Akaka's failure to move his keynote Native Hawai'ian federal recognition bill past a procedural vote for the fourth consecutive Congress only weakens his argument that Hawai'ians should preserve his all-important seniority in the Senate.

Still, Case has campaigned mostly to ensure that Akaka's seat is held by a younger, healthier Democrat with more gas in the tank, so to speak. And, given that Akaka is all of 81 years old, the message has gained a bit of traction: a recent Honolulu Advertiser poll (likely Democratic primary voters), while showing Akaka with a respectable 64% approval rating, nevertheless shows a tight race:

Daniel Akaka (D-Inc.): 51
Ed Case (D): 40
Undecided: 9
MoE: ±5.3%

I don't like that MoE, but I don't see any reason to doubt these results. Case has run one statewide campaign before, and two half-statewide campaigns (as Hawai'i only has two congressional districts, half the state, at least, is fairly accustomed to voting for him); he's already a serious threat. I wonder when folks like Ken Salazar and Ben Nelson will fly down to help out Akaka.

(I woulda had this one up earlier but I was at the Neko Case show tonight.)

Posted at 01:29 AM in 2006 Elections - Senate, Hawaii | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, March 02, 2006

HI-02: Candidate Run-Down

Posted by DavidNYC

When a Democrat in a heavily Dem district (or a GOPer in a heavily Republican district) decides to move on, there's always a mad scramble to replace him. With Rep. Ed Case's absurd decision to challenge Sen. Daniel Akaka in the Democratic primary, a huge number of potential candidates have emerged. Skaje has written a diary to help you keep track of all the players.

Posted at 07:02 PM in 2006 Elections - House, Hawaii | Comments (10) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Friday, January 20, 2006

HI-Sen: Rep. Case to Challenge Sen. Akaka in Primary

Posted by DavidNYC

In some very unusual news, Democratic Rep. Ed Case (HI-02) has announced that he'll challenge incumbent Sen. Daniel Akaka in a primary. While I don't know nearly as much about Hawaiian politics as I do about New York's, this move strikes me as a pointless Tom Suozzi gesture. Akaka is one of the most popular senators around, and HI's even-more-beloved Sen. Daniel Inouye is rallying around him, as is the rest of the Dem establishment:

Inouye and Abercrombie both said they would stand behind Akaka, which could isolate Case within the party.

"I intend to continue to give Senator Akaka my support," Inouye said in a statement. "I hope Congressman Case will reconsider his decision to challenge Senator Akaka, and will instead seek re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives. Also, I have been advised that Senator Akaka has the full support of the leadership of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee."

I think Case has literally zero chance of knocking off Akaka. In the past two-and-a-half decades, only three incumbent senators have lost primaries, and all were under freakish circumstances. And unlike Toomey-Specter, Akaka-Case hardly presents the kind of ideological and stylistic rifts that could even give Case the slightest toehold.

Moreover, Akaka's won his last two elections with over 70% of the vote. (In a primary challenge in 2000, he came away with 91%.) If Case hopes to hang his hat on the issue of Akaka's age, good luck. Akaka's no addled Jacob Javits - and do you think he even looks close to his age? Man, I hope I look that good when I'm an octogenarian!

Inouye is counselling patience, but I doubt Case will listen any more than Suozzi did. As I did with Suozzi, I predict this futile run will really damage Case's future in Hawaiian politics.

As far as Case's seat goes, I think Dems should be able to hold it. The district (probably the slightly more Democratic of Hawaii's two seats) went for Kerry by 56-44, and Case won his last election by over 30%. Simply because it's an open seat, it'll be more competitive than it would otherwise be, but I'm pretty confident. (And I'm not really sure the HI GOP has all that much of a bench.) One friend who is knowledgeable about the HI political scene tells me he wants to see State Sen. Colleen Hanabusa take the seat. (She came in third in a special election in HI-02 in 2003.) Who do you like to replace Case?

Posted at 12:49 PM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Hawaii | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

HI-Gov: Do Dems Finally Have a Candidate?

Posted by DavidNYC

On the good side: The Dems may finally have a candidate to take on Republican HI Gov Lindle Lingle. Though he's still mulling his choices, former state Sen. Randall Iwase says "every fiber of my being wants to run for governor." That's a lot better than the usual wishy-washy stuff you hear from candidates contemplating a run for higher office.

On the bad side: Iwase's been out of office since 2000 - that's the better part of a decade, now that we're into 2006. And I think Derrick DePledge (writing in the Honolulu Advertiser) gets this one pretty much right:

Without personal wealth or solid commitments of state or national fundraising, a candidate with no statewide name recognition, like Iwase, would have to build an extensive grass-roots network of support to be competitive against Lingle.

Iwase is not a strong candidate - certainly, at least, compared to, say, Rep. Neil Abercrombie. Still, like I say, at least we may have someone.

(Thanks to Taegan Goddard.)

Posted at 11:44 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Hawaii | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, November 03, 2005

HI-Gov: Abercrombie (D) Won't Run

Posted by DavidNYC

Confirming our suspicions of last week, Rep. Neil Abercrombie of Hawaii won't run for governor next year. Interestingly, it looks like big players in HI politics (such as Sen. Daniel Inouye) were pushing Abercrombie not to seek higher office (apparently because of his seniority in Congress). Usually it feels like the situation is reversed, with the Chuck Schumers of the world pressuring people to take the ultimate statewide plunge.

Unfortunately, this means that the Dems out in paradise have no big names to challenge Lingle. I have this nagging feeling that Hawaii is trending Republican. Just one data-point: According to Survey USA, Bush still has a 39-54 approval rating in HI. But look at this chart - Hawaii stubbornly shows up as Bush's most favorable blue state (followed closely by Minnesota, another troublesome - and nominally - blue state).

Anyhow, I bring this up because even if 2006 is a big Dem year nationwide, I don't know how much of an effect that will have in Hawaii, where the winds of change seem headed in the opposite direction. A no-name candidate can potentially pull off a big upset in a landslide year - think George Pataki, 1994. But I don't think HI is fertile ground, especially since Lingle has pretty good approval ratings.

P.S. Does the DGA recruit candidates in the same way that the DSCC and DCCC do? Or are gubernatorial races strictly local affairs?

(Abercrombie story via Political Wire.)

Posted at 02:10 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Hawaii | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

HI-Gov: Abercrombie (D) to Decide Soon

Posted by DavidNYC

Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) is close to deciding whether he'll run against incumbent Republican governor Linda Lingle. Through the rumor mill, though, I'm hearing he's gonna say no. His remarks strike me as leaning that way, too:

"I will make a decision shortly. This is not something that is going to hang on," Abercrombie said.

"(Gov.) Linda Lingle can and should be defeated for re-election. That is the fundamental premise, whether or not I do it," Abercrombie said.

"All I can say is I am very grateful for the kind and insightful and provocative thoughts that have come my way," Abercrombie said.

I hope Abercrombie does say yes, but I can understand if he declines - Lingle is pretty popular (61-32 a month ago) and probably won't go down easily, barring a Democratic tidal wave (which may yet happen).

Posted at 02:09 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Hawaii | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

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