Analysts: Trump’s presidential announcement puts Hawaii’s GOP leaders in a ‘tough spot’
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Political experts say former President Donald Trump’s run for president in 2024 fires people up, but makes it difficult for Republican leaders in places less friendly to him.
“Do they support President Trump who is not well liked in Hawaii, who is not well supported in Hawaii?” said Trisha Kehau Watson, political consultant and former volunteer for Kai Kahele’s congressional campaign.
“Or do they take a more moderate stance that will be more palatable to a larger voter percentage?”
She added: “I think it puts them in a very tough spot.”
Some Republican leaders in Hawaii were eager to throw their support behind Trump on Tuesday.
“I think he’d be a great president,” said state Rep. Bob McDermott (R-Ewa, Iroquois Point).
“He energizes the Republicans, he makes the Democrats so mad, he energizes them, too. Everybody is engaged. Unfortunately, it doesn’t translate to the polls. Our turnout was so low.”
But Colin Moore, HNN political analyst, said Trump’s brand hasn’t been very popular in Hawaii.
“And I don’t see that changing any time soon.”
Trump’s presidential plans have also left pundits wondering what’s next for former Democratic Hawaii congressmember Tulsi Gabbard, who ran for president, left the Democratic party, said she’s independent, and just signed on as a contributor on Fox News.
HNN interviewed Gabbard as she voted at Honolulu Hale on Election Day.
Asked if she’s planning another run of office, she said, “I have no plans right now. I’m just trying to be of service the best way I can and then try to make a positive impact both for Hawaii and for the country.”
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