2016 Election Predictions: Hawaii

Statewide elections:

U.S. Senate:

Brian Schatz (D): Schatz is the incumbent Senator in Hawaii.  Govtrack charts each bill that has been sponsored and cosponsored legislation and who the co-sponsors of legislation were.  Schatz is firmly in the left wing portion of the graph.  The most similar Senator by this methodology is Ed Markey.

Schatz has introduced 34 bills since 2015.  Of the bills that he has co-sponsored, 31% were introduced by someone other than a Democrat. Two bills that he introduced this Congress that I support are S. 2678 STOP Pain Act which would direct studies for pain and help develop alternatives to pain medicine that are not opioids.  As you should be aware, we have a real opioid epidemic happening right now and we should be focusing some energy on developing alternative pain medication.

Another bill is S. 3122 REAL Act of 2016.  This bill would reinstate Pell Grant eligibility for individuals currently in federal or state penal insitutions.

John Caroll (R): He doesn’t even have a real domain for his campaign website. I have a website.  This is dumb.

Prediction: Schatz will win with over 65% of the vote.

Statewide ballot measures:

Amendment 1: This measure would, if passed, increase the threshold value for a civil jury trial to $10,000 from $5,000.

State Farm opposes the measure.  Their testimony to the State Senate relied heavily on the idea that the 7th Amendment guarantees a right to civil trial for damages exceeding $20 and that states requiring a higher threshold are rare.  I’m not 100% sure why State Farm would oppose such a measure, to be honest.

Right now, I think that this Amendment will pass.  As we get closer to November, it’s possible that more insurance companies and more money will be pored into this state for this amendment.

Amendment 2: Ballotpedia has the ballot question on their website

Shall the legislature be provided, when the state general fund balance at the close of each of two successive fiscal years exceeds five per cent of the general fund revenues for each of the two fiscal years, the additional alternatives of appropriating general funds for the pre-payment of either or both of the following:

(1) Debt service for general obligation bonds issued by the State; or
(2) Pension or other post-employment benefit liabilities accrued for state employees?

This would allow state legislators to be able to pre-pay general obligation bonds and pensions.  Currently, excess general gunds can only be used for tax refunds or emergency supplemental funds.

This should pass easily.

Presidential election:

Barack Obama won the 2012 Presidential election in Hawaii with 70.55% of the vote compared to 27.84% of the vote for Romney.  Clinton will get 67% or more of the vote.

Federal elections:

District 1:

Colleen Hanabusa (D)

Shirlene Ostrov (R)

Hanabusa is the former member of Congress from 2011-2014.  She won re-election in 2012 with 54.61% of the vote over Charles Djou who received 45.39% of the vote.  Djou was the incumbent in the 2010 general election where he lost.   Djou received 48% of the vote in 2014.  While the district is a fairly safe Democratic seat, a strong challenger in Congress or a stronger candidate running for President could flip the seat to a Republican.  Djou is probably one of the stronger candidates to do so.  He is currently running for mayor of Honolulu.

I think that it’s still pretty safe.  Barack Obama won 69.7% of the vote in 2012 in this district. I think Hanabusa gets over 55% of the vote in November.

District 2:

Tulsi Gabbard (D)

Angela Aulani Kaaihue (R) – not really anymore

Gabbard has received a lot of praise for being an outspoken supporter of Bernie Sanders throughout the Democratic presidential primary.  She has criticized the Democratic National Committee as being insanely corrupt and resigned her spot with the DNC.  Gabbard is the first Hindu to be elected to Congress.  So of course, her opponent attacked her for being a Hindu and the Hawaii Republican Party terminated her membership. She also said some offensive things about Japanese Hawaiians.

Anyway, this is a very safe Democratic seat and will remain Gabbard’s until she chooses not to run again.

State Senate:

There’s not very many seats that are being opposed by both major parties.

District 9:

Samuel Slom (R)

Stanley Chang (D)

Sam Slom is the only Republican in the Hawaii State Senate. Because of that, he served on every legislative committee.  He is also the Senate Minority Leader  and Minority Floor Leader.  He has served in the Senate since 1996.  In 2010, he received 55% of the vote in his district and won 54% of the vote in 2012.  It seems like he has a pretty high floor for his support.  Chang is a former Honolulu City Council member who ran for the Democratic nomination for Hawaii’s 1st Congressional District.  He received 10% of the vote in the primary.  I find it hard to believe that Chang will be able to win the election.  I think Slom is likely to get around 54-55% of the vote, yet again.

District 11:

C. Kaui Jochanan Amsterdam (R)

Brian Taniguchi (D)

Taniguchi received 73.5% of the vote in 2012.  Amsterdam is more or less a perennial candidate who ran for the state house in 2014 in District 24 garnering 25.6% of the vote.  I do not think that Amsterdam is going to do that well in November.  Taniguchi should get 75% of the vote.

District 13:

Rod Tam (R)

Karl Rhoads (D)

Rhoads is currently a member of the Hawaii House of Representatives for District 29.  He is currently the chair of Judiciary Committee in the Hawaii House of Representatives.  In 2010, State Senate District 13 elected the Democratic candidate with 71% of the vote.  Rhoads is running against an unknown and should be able to get close to 70% of the vote in November.

District 19:

Kurt Fevella (R)

William Espero (D)

Espero is currently the State Senator for this distric and was the Majority Floor Leader from 2013 – 2014.  Fevella won the Republican primary for this district with 989 votes compared to 650 for his opponent.  There doesn’t seem to be enough Republicans for Fevella to make up the ground.  Espero should get close to 60% of the vote.

District 25:

Robert Nagamine (R)

Laura Thielen (D)

Thielen is the state Senator for this district.  She was elected in 2012 with 59.5% of the vote compared to her opponent who received 40.5% of the vote.  Nagamine was able to win the Republican primary election for this district. He seems to not have very much name recognition to be able to compete.  I believe that Thielen will win with close to 55-60% of the vote.

Hawaii House of Representatives:

I am looking at the districts where the candidate did not get 60% of the vote in 2014 (with one exception) AND have both major parties running candidates.

District 20:

Julia Allen (R)

Calvin Say (D)

Say received 54.6% of the vote in 2014 defeating Julia Allen.  Allen actually came in third behind Say and Green Party candidate Keiko Bonk who received 24.2% of the vote.  Allen finished in third in 2012 with 11.8% of the vote.  She received 24.8% of the vote against Say in 2010.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Say will win this election with about 70% of the vote as there is not a green party candidate this year.

District 22

Kathryn Henski (R)

Tom Brower (D)

Brower was challenged int he Democratic primary by two other candidates.  Brower survived the challenge receiving 71% of the vote in the primary.  In 2014, Brower received 54.5% of the vote with 2,626 votes compared to his challenger Janet Grace’s 1,929 votes.  While I do think Brower will have somewhat of a challenge, I think he will win with more than 55% of the vote.

District 31

Eric Ching (R)

Aaron Johanson (D)

Johanson was elected with 68% of the vote in 2014.  He then switched parties in December of 2014 as he stated that the Republican Party had ideological narrowness with the party as the reason for his switch.  Eric Ching is ap olitical outsider trying to oust Johanson out of his seat to prevent just another “yes” vote for the Democratic Party. I would be a little worried for Johanson in November but I still think he wins the election with around 60% of the vote.

District 34

Jaci Agustin (R)

Gregg Takayama (D)

Takayama is the Democratic incumbent for this district.  He defeated Agustin in the 2014 general election with 58.3% of the vote compared to 38% of the vote for Agustin.  Takayama should easily win re-election to this seat.


District 41

Bryan E. Jeremiah (R)

Matthew Lopresti (D)

Lopresti won the 2014 election over Jeremiah 48.7-35.6.  Tom Berg, the Libertarian candidate received 15.6% of the vote providing the rest of the margin. There is not a third party candidate on the ballot for this general election, which is probably a shame.  I think that the turnout for this district is likely to decrease compared to 2012 and 2014.  My guess is that Lopresti is able to win re-election but I think it’s a fairly close election.  The closest one so far in the state.

District 43

Andria Tupoloa (R)

Stacelynn K.M. Eli (D)

Tupoloa is the incumbent for this district.  She was able to defeat the incumbent Democrat Karen Leinani Awana in the 2014 election 56.1 -41.6%.  Leinani Awana was able to get 69.7% of the vote or 4,029 votes in 2012 compared to 1,484 votes for her opponent. There were only about 500 less votes cast in 2014 in this district.  If you believe that Tupola as able to get elected because of dissatisfaction with Barack Obama in a favored map for the 2014 Republican Party, then you may believe that Stacelynn K.M. Eli is likely to win back the seat.  I don’t think Eli is a particularly strong candidate but she was able to defeat Karen Leinani Awana in the primary and only lost the primary in 2014 by 300 votes.  Maybe I’m not giving Eli enough credit.  I think

District 44

Marc Pa’aluhi (R)
Cedric Asuega Gates (D)

I don’t think this will be a particularly close election unless someone who is upset about Cedric Asuega Gates winning the Democratic nomination.  Gates was the Green party candidate in 2014.  He upset Democratic incumbent Jo Jordan in the 2016 Democratic primary by 240 votes.  Jordan won the general election in 2014 with 58% of the vote.  Gates with the Green Party nomination received 22% of the vote.  There was not a Republican on the ballot in 2014.

District 47

Feki Pouha (R)

Sean Quinlan (D)

Pouha won the 2014 general election by less than 200 votes over Democratic candidate Kent Fonoimoana.  Pouha is the State House Minority Floor Leader.  If we are to believe that 2014 was a good year for Republicans then, again, we may think that Pouha is vulnerable.  Quinlan does not seem like a particularly strong candidate and does not appear to have a website. I think Pouha will be re-elected.