Some Thoughts on 1st Batch of Hawaii Primary Election Results #HIvote

Is this Mazie Hirono’s night?

The state Elections Office released the first batch of election results in the Hawaii Primary Election at a little after 8pm. Here are some random thoughts:

In the most important race facing Maui County – the bid to replace retiring Democratic US Senator Daniel Akaka, all the action tonight is in the Democratic side (former Republican Governor Linda Lingle is the odds-on favorite to win her party’s nomination). On the Democratic side, the early votes show Congressional member Mazie Hirono (endorsed by MauiTime) leading former Congressional member Ed Case 57.4% to 40.0%.

That’s more than a 17 point gap. This is fascinating for two reasons. First, because Honolulu Civil Beat reported a few days ago (using a controversial new robo-poll method) that Case was ahead of Hirono by one percentage point. Case himself used this poll repeatedly in the last 48 hours. But it’s also fascinating because earlier tonight–before the results were announced–a Mazie Hirono campaign aide told me that their own internal polls (as well as those of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, both of which relied on the old method of one person talking to another person) showed a 17-point gap in Hirono’s favor.

Of course, the night is still young.

Here are a few other races dear to our hearts:

• Upstart Democratic Honolulu Councilmember Tulsi Gabbard (endorsed by MauiTime) is upsetting former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann badly in the race to replace Hirono in the 2nd Congressional District, 49.2% to 37.8%. Remember thought that Hannemann was backed by the ILWU (as well as all three former Maui County mayors) and it’s way too early to call that race over. Here, Honolulu Civil Beat’s robo-poll, which had Hannemann down for the count, seems to spot-on.

• 9th District House: Incumbent Democrat Gil-Keith Agaran (endorsed by MauiTime) currently leads termed-out Maui County Councilman Joe Pontanilla 53.1% to 43.2%. There is no Republican in this race–whoever wins tonight wins the seat.

• In the kamikaze bid to be the Republican to lose to the Democrat in the 2nd US Congressional race, “Hawaii 78″ co-author Kawika Crowley (endorsed by MauiTime) is leading Matthew Digeronimo 42.5% to 30.7%.

• In the crowded South Maui 11th District House race, 24-year-old Kaniela Ing is leading the pack with 43.2% of the vote (though he shouldn’t celebrate yet–that’s just 372 votes). Netra Halperin is next with 25.4%, former legislator Joe Bertram III has 15.7% and Colin Hanlon (endorsed by MauiTime) has just 11.8%.

• So far, 187 Hawaii registered voters want some guy named Antonio Gimbernat to be their US Senator.

The next results are due at 9pm. Maybe.

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