TO: Hawaii Republican Party Members
FROM: Dylan Nonaka, Executive Director, Hawaii Republican Party
DATE: September 10, 2010
RE: Why Vote Republican in the Upcoming Primary Election
Many Republicans are talking about voting in the Democrat Primary for Governor for one reason or another. I wanted to take a minute of your time to share some perspective and explain why it is not effective and more importantly why it is undermines the hard work of our Party, our leadership and our candidates.
First, this strategy of playing around in the Democrat Primaries has been talked about and attempted for years and has never worked. Every year backyard political strategists tell their friends about how they are going to vote for one Democrat or another in the Primary for one reason or another. There is no evidence of this ever working and the best example was the Case/Akaka Primary for U.S. Senate in 2006. Many Republicans and conservatives voted for Case because “he would be a better Democrat,” hoping that they would help him win. In the end, Case lost by 10 points; he didn’t even come close. Assuming that there truly was a large crossover vote, it clearly had little to no effect.
A more complicated situation is developing this year in the Democrat Primary for Governor which will make crossover voting even more ineffective. Unlike 2006 when there was agreement on which candidate Republicans wanted to vote for, this year there is no consensus. Half the Republicans who talk about voting in the Democrat Primary say they are voting for one Democrat because he is more moderate. The other half says they are voting for another Democrat because he's supposedly easier to beat. Both theories have their flaws but the one thing they have in common is that they insure that these crossover votes will get canceled out and have no effect at all.
Second, this strategy discredits the hard work of the nearly 100 candidates who have stood up and had the courage to run for elected office as Republicans. Republicans should vote for Republicans in our primaries and let Democrats sort out their own races. Chairman Jonah Ka'auwai and many other party leaders worked long and hard to recruit 95 great Republican candidates this year who have earned and deserve our support. We have 13 contested Republican Primaries this year and seven of them have three or more Republicans running for the Republican nomination. These races span from Governor to City Council and the people we pick in these races will have an impact on our ability to win those seats in the General Election.
Putting the numbers aside, as a matter of principle any Republican or conservative should really think about what casting their vote for the opposition means. A vote is a precious thing that should be an honor to receive. Whatever party you decide to vote for be sure that their candidates have earned the honor of your vote by their actions in office or the character they display. But if they have not, do not pass up the chance to vote for the good, principled, honest people we have running on the Republican tickets for someone in the opposing party. Stand for what YOU believe is good and right and give your vote to the candidate who will uphold your values.
Strong Republican primary turnout will build confidence and momentum for our candidates and your vote will send a message. We have the opportunity this year to hold the Governor’s office, retain a Congressional seat and pick up a significant number of State Legislative and City/County council seats. Our success this year is dependent on us Hawai'i Republicans sticking together, staying true to our principles, standing together in the trenches and working harder than we ever have. We are responsible for getting this important message out; please pass this on to everyone you know who is registered to vote. The battle begins on September 18, I ask you to join me in standing with the candidates who uphold our values and honoring them with your vote.
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