Could 'Trump effect' unseat Hawaii's only GOP state senator?

Could 'Trump effect' unseat Hawaii's only GOP state senator?
Stanley Chang (Image: Hawaii News Now)
Stanley Chang (Image: Hawaii News Now)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Could Donald Trump's slumping poll numbers spur Republicans to stay home this Election Day?

Hawaii News Now political analyst Colin Moore thinks that's a strong possibility, and that could spell trouble for state Sen. Sam Slom, the only Republican in the state Senate.

Slom is facing off against challenger Stanley Chang, a Democrat and former Honolulu City Councilman.

Moore said voter turnout is likely to be down across the board on Nov. 8.

"Democrats don't like Hillary Clinton, either. But we'll see this affect Republicans more."

That puts Slom on shaky ground, but he's not going down without a fight.

"I've worked well with my colleagues even though I've tried to make a point to disagree without being disagreeable," he said. "If I lose a vote, that's fine. But I think that the public loses the opportunity if they don't hear some of the alternatives."

Chang, meanwhile, is counting on his record to earn a win -- not a "Trump factor."

"In my career I've been very proud to be an independent voice for East Honolulu from day one," he said. "I work on a lot of issues with Democrats, Republicans and Independents."

Moore said Republicans disenchanted with Trump are well-educated and well-off, and many of them live in the areas Slom represents.

"They're the ones who may stay home because they are so upset with their choice for the presidential election," he said.

Slom's fellow Republicans hope that won't be the case.

"He stands for what he stands for," said Republican state Rep. Andria Tupola. "He's bold for what he speaks on. I really want to see him re-elected because we need that balance."

Meanwhile, both Slom is hoping for high turnout.

"I know that the conventional wisdom is a low turnout helps incumbents. I want a high turnout," Slom said.

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