U.S. News


Hawaii Governor Crushed By Primary Opponent In State First

David Abercrombie, whose approval ratings have stayed low for most of his term, lost by a 36-point margin to challenger David Ige.
Posted at 1:59 PM, Aug 10, 2014

In a first for the "Aloha State," Hawaiian voters overwhelmingly voted out their sitting governor in Saturday's Democratic primary.

Governor Neil Abercrombie lost to challenger David Ige by a 36-point margin in the race for the party's 2014 candidate for governor.

"Whatever shortcomings I have, whatever faults that I have, I can guarantee you one of them has never been a failure to give all I can every day that I can for Hawaii."

Abercrombie's challenger David Ige was a relatively unknown state senator before the race began and was outspent 10 to 1 in the campaign.

But the governor has been having some ... let's say popularity issues over the past four years.

High-profile budget, tax and pension battles managed to erode his approval ratings so quickly he was dubbed the "most unpopular Governor in the country" by Public Policy Polling by the end of his first year.

His approval ratings improved somewhat since then, but have consistently hovered around 40-45 percent, even after President Obama cut a campaign ad for him. "You know, Governor Neil Abercrombie is like ohana to me."

The Wall Street Journal spoke to a Hawaiian professor who says Abercrombie's confrontational style may have driven away voters. "I think people got tired of him."

While Hawaii is pretty solidly Democratic, analysts say the upset might give Republicans a shot at winning a spot at the Washington Place governor's mansion.

This video contains images from Getty Images.