Thursday, August 11, 2016

Race of the Day- Hawai'i U.S. Senate

88 Days Until Election Day

Status: Democrat Incumbent
2012 Presidential Result: Blue State (West)

Outlook: Safe Democrat

I would expect this race to be the most lopsided out of any for the U.S. Senate this year. Hawai'i is overwhelmingly Democrat, the state GOP is extremely weak in the post-Lingle era, and freshman Senator Brian Schatz has certainly gotten past his biggest political hurdles.

The last few years has indeed brought about some turmoil in Hawai'i Democrat politics. In late 2012, legendary Senator Daniel Inoyue died in office, even after expressing his plans to run in 2016. Clearly, the World War II vet was content in living his life in the Senate until the end. In his final days, he wrote a letter to the state's Democrat Governor expressing his wish as to who should succeed him. However, then Governor Neil Abercrombie, a white liberal, did not pick the Asian-American Congresswoman that Inouye had wanted, but instead picked his own Lt. Governor, Schatz, a fellow caucasian.

Barack Obama, a native of the Aloha State was seemingly supportive of the pick of the young Schatz, but many old school Democrats in the state were not. Abercrombie went down to a huge defeat in the 2014 primary, but Schatz was luckier. He managed to squeak by Colleen Hanabusa, the woman who Inouye wanted to replace him. After this primary win, which was delayed for a bit by a weather emergency, Schatz's special election win was all but assured.

Now, the incumbent is running for a full six year term, and since all prominent Democrats have seemingly come to terms with Schatz representing them in the Senate, he can settle in for as long of a career as he would like. This Saturday, Republicans will choose between a list of nobodys and perennial candidates, but all would be sacrificial lambs to the Democrat. The most well known of the GOP contenders, and probably most likely to win the nomination, is John Carroll, an 86 year old frequent candidate, whom decades ago served in both Houses of the Hawai'i Legislature.

Senate races predicted thus far: 4 D (3 Safe, 1 Likely), 6 R (2 Safe, 2 Likely, 2 Leans)
Overall predicted thus far: 40 D, 36 R


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