You can add Hawaii to the list of states Donald Trump has won in his quest to seize power–sorry–win the nomination to be the Republican presidential candidate in 2016. With 100 percent of precincts reporting in, the Associated Press reported that on Mar. 8 Trump won 5,677 votes–roughly 42 percent of the Hawaii Republicans who cast ballots this year.
Senator Ted Cruz–who’s every bit as nativist and authoritarian as Trump, but without the billionaire’s charisma–came in second with 4,379 votes (about 33 percent). And Senator Marco Rubio–the golden boy for the GOP’s richest donors and SuperPACs–won a solid third with 1,759 votes (13 percent). That left Ohio Governor John Kasich in fourth place with 1,413 votes (not quite 11 percent).
These results stand in stark contrast to the preferences of Hawaii’s Republican elites (such as they are). Before the election, former Lt. Governor James “Duke” Aiona announced his preference for Rubio, while former U.S Representative Charles Djou heartily endorsed Kasich. Senator Sam Slom–the only Republican in the Hawaii state Senate–first endorsed neurosurgeon Ben Carson, but then switched to Cruz when Carson folded up (though out of the race, Carson was still on the ballot–he got 127 votes; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was still on the ballot, too, though he won just 22 votes).
Maui County’s results mirrored the state’s, though Trump won the county with a slightly higher 47 percent (while no one in the county voted for Bush, 12 decided that Carson was still their guy).
So it turns out Hawaii Republican voters are a lot like their Mainland counterparts–perfectly unafraid to vote for someone sounds more like the ramblings of a tin-plated dictator than a defender of the U.S. Constitution. Trump is without question a fascist–bent on demonizing Latinos and Muslims while playing up the fears of white supremacists–and for not quite half of Hawaii Republican voters, that’s perfectly fine by them. Of course, more Hawaii Republicans voted for someone other than Trump this year, but given the makeup of the election, that hardly matters now.
Photo of Donald Trump: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons