In Blue Hawaii, Democratic Primary is Largest Hurdle to Winning Office

August 10, 2018

Hawaii holds its primaries on Saturday. The state elects a Senator, governor and representatives from both congressional districts in 2018. Democrats are expected to retain control of all of these seats.

The most notable primary races are for the Democratic nomination for governor and in the first congressional district. Polls close at 6:00 PM local time, which is midnight Eastern. Reload this page after that time for the latest results.

Hawaii Gubernatorial Primaries

Gov. David Ige defeated then Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the 2014 Democratic primary, going on to win the general election by 12 points. Ige himself now faces a serious primary challenge from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01). For much of the year, it has looked like Ige would meet the same fate as his predecessor. Polls this spring had him down by double-digits to Hanabusa, as voters were not impressed by Ige's slow response to the false missile alert from this past January. However, Ige's handling of real disasters - Kauai flooding and the kilauea volcano have turned his fortunes around, and Ige goes into the primary with the lead in recent polling. Either Democrat will be favored in the general election.

The leading Republican appears to be Andria Tupola, who is the Minority Leader of the Hawaii House of Representatives.  

Hawaii Senate Primary

Incumbent Sen. Mazie Hirono is running unopposed. She is expected to win a 2nd term in November.

Hawaii House Primaries

Hanabusa is giving up her Honolulu-area seat to run for governor. This Washington Post article provides an overview of many of the Democratic primary candidates looking to replace her in Congress. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is likely to advance to the general election in the 2nd district, although she does have some detractors. Both seats are considered safe for Democrats in the fall.

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