Friday, August 10, 2012

Big Hawaii Primary Weekend

Big events are coming up the Hawaii Democratic primary on August 11, with a Senate race and maybe a House race each pitting a liberal Democrat against a conservative Democrat.

On the Senate side we have Mazie Hirono versus Ed Case.  It's a pretty serious liberal vs. conservative  showdown, with solidly liberal Hirono against longtime Iraq War and estate tax cut supporter Case.  The polling looks weird.  Everything either shows Ed Case with a tiny lead or Mazie Hirono with a gigantic lead.  I guess that's good news for Hirono, but I'm going to be a bit nervous about this one until I see the results.  I've given $1000 to Hirono and helped her campaign in minor internet ways.  If you're curious to learn more about why Hirono is a much better candidate than Case, here you go!

On the House side, there's Tulsi Gabbard versus Mufi Hanneman.  Gabbard is a 30-year-old military veteran recently returned from Afghanistan.  Her views on abortion and gay rights are solidly left-wing, though it's unclear how long she's held these positions.  Hanneman has consistently been a mealy-mouthed Democrat on abortion and supports the Defense of Marriage Act.  Gabbard has suddenly jumped to a 20 point lead in recent polls after trailing for a while.  This is a bit of a tougher race to judge, because Gabbard is kind of an unknown, but I think she's the one to root for here.

I'm especially interested in the Senate race, because a victory here will send a clear message that supporting bad wars and tax cuts for the rich isn't welcome in the Democratic Party.  Primaries are how you reorient your entire party towards the views you care about.  

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