This article presents an unbiased comparison of the political positions and policies of Linda Lingle and Mazie Hirono, candidates for the 2012 Senate Elections in Hawaii. It was a very competitive race, which is unusual for Hawaii because the state typically votes Democratic and does not tend to unseat incumbents. Neither candidate was an incumbent and Democrat Hirono defeated Republican Lingle to win the election.

Linda Lingle is a member of the Republican party and has served as the 6th Governor of Hawaii from 2002-2010. She was the first Republican elected governor and the first female governor of Hawaii.

Mazie Hirono was the Democratic nominee. She ran against (and lost to) Lingle during the 2002 Gubernatorial elections. She is a lawyer and politician by profession.

Comparison chart

Linda Lingle versus Mazie Hirono comparison chart
Edit this comparison chartLinda LingleMazie Hirono
  • current rating is 3.03/5
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(78 ratings)
  • current rating is 3.45/5
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(83 ratings)
Linda LingleMazie Hirono
Political Party Republican Democrat
Tax Policy Supports a simplified tax code while retaining important deductions like charity and mortgage interest. Supports eliminating tax breaks for the rich (2%). Supports extension of AMT for middle class and closing AMT relief for offshore businesses.
Health Care Supports reforming medicaid waiver program to reduce Medicaid costs. Supports medical malpractice reform, tax relief for employees without insurance and long-term care. Opposes Ryan Budget program to reform Medicare, supports regulating tobacco as a drug and expanding children health insurance and childhood cancer programs.
Social Security No clear stance Opposes privatization and raising retirement age
Abortion Opposes legal partial birth abortion Supports women's choice, expanding stem cell research and continue extending federal health coverage for abortion.
Immigration Supports comprehensive reform. No clear stance
Education Supports teacher's merit pay increase in schools and wants to expand charter school. Participating in President Obama’s Race to the Top Grant Program that can earn $75 million for federal education. Supports improving early-childhood education programs and reforming the No Child Left Behind Law.
Gay Rights No clear stance Supports
Budget Supports expansion of tourism industry, prioritizing defense spending, energy growth and enforcing international trade agreements. Supported the $192B anti-recession stimulus package, $15B bailout plan for GM and Chrysler and $60B stimulus package for jobs & energy. Opposes terminating Home Affordable mortgage program
Women’s Rights No clear stance Opposes gender based pay discrimination.
Gun Control Supports an individual's rights to gun ownership No clear stance
Energy Policy Supports replacing oil and gas with alternatives. Supports stopping harmful EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. Supports energy independence and tax relief for renewable energy programs
Foreign Policy No clear stance Opposes removing US troops from Afghanistan
Crime Supports ending death penalty. Supports law enforcement against anti-gay hate crimes. Opposes mandatory sentencing.
War on Drugs Supports treatment for drug addicts, repeat offenders get more jail time. Supports funding Mexico for anti-drug programs and granting student loans for rehabilitated drug convicts.
Religion Judaism Buddhism
Linda Lingle (Republican) and Mazie Hirono (Democrat), candidates for the 2012 Senate Elections in Hawaii
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Linda Lingle (Republican) and Mazie Hirono (Democrat), candidates for the 2012 Senate Elections in Hawaii
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Logo of Republican and Democratic parties

Early Life and Career

Linda Lingle was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1953 and received her bachelor's degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge in 1975. Before entering politics, she worked as a journalist and started the Molokai Free Press, a community newspaper. She was elected Mayor in 1991 and then in 1994. She stood for the 1998 Gubernatorial election where she lost to Benjamin J Cayetano in one of the closest election in Hawaii's history. In 2002, she was elected as the Governor of Hawaii and then re-elected in 2006.

Mazie Hirono was born in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, in 1947. She earned a BA in psychology from University of Hawaii in 1970 and JD from Georgetown University Law Center in 1978. She practiced law in Honolulu, HI before being elected to Hawaii's 12th house district. She was elected Lieutenant Governor (1994–2002). She has held the U.S. House of Representatives in Hawaii's 2nd congressional district (2007–present). She lost against Linda Lingle during the 2002 Gubernatorial elections and is rerunning against Linda during the 2012 Hawaii Senate Elections.

Differences in Economic Policy

Tax Policy

Linda Lingle supports a simplified tax code while retaining important deductions like charity and mortgage interest. [1]

Mazie Hirono supports eliminating tax breaks for the rich (2%). She supported the extension of Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) exemptions for middle class and closing the AMT relief for offshore businesses.[2]

Budget

Linda Lingle supports expansion of tourism industry, prioritizing defense spending, energy growth and enforcing international trade agreements. [3]

Mazie Hirono supported the $192B anti-recession stimulus package, $15B bailout plan for GM and Chrysler and $60B stimulus package for jobs & energy. She opposes terminating the Home Affordable mortgage program. [4]

Social Security

Linda Lingle has not spoken about social security.

Mazie Hirono opposes raising the retirement age and privatization of social security. [5]

Healthcare Policy

Lina Lingle supports reforming medicaid waiver program to reduce Medicaid costs. She also supports medical malpractice reform, tax relief for employees without insurance and long-term care. [6]

Mazie Hirono opposes Ryan's Budget program, the The Path to Prosperity to reform Medicare program. She also supports regulating tobacco as a drug and expanding children health insurance and childhood cancer programs. [7]

Social Issues

Abortion

Linda Lingle opposes legal partial birth abortion. [8]

Mazie Hirono supports a women's choice for a legal abortion. She supports expanding stem cell research and continue extending federal health coverage for abortion.[9]

Immigration

Linda Lingle supports developing a comprehensive reform for the immigration issues. She believes in having the same number of visas from all countries. [10]

Mazie Hirono has not spoken about immigration.

Gay rights

Linda Lingle has not spoken about gay rights during the current campaign season. But, while serving as governor, Lingle vetoed a bill that would have allowed civil unions for same-sex couples.

Mazie Hirono supports same-sex marriage. [11]

Women’s Rights

Linda Lingle has not spoken about women's rights.

Mazie Hirono opposes gender based pay discrimination [12]

Education Policy

Linda Lingle supports teacher's merit pay increase in schools and wants to expand charter school. She also supports participating in President Obama’s Race to the Top Grant Program that can earn $75 million for federal education. [13]

Mazie Hirono supports improving early-childhood education programs and reforming the No Child Left Behind Law. She supports spending $40B for green public school programs, $10B for improving federal education and $25B for renovating the elementary schools. [14] [15]

Energy Policy

Linda Lingle supports replacing oil and gas with alternatives. She supports stopping harmful EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions. [16] [17]

Mazie Hirono supports energy independence and tax relief for renewable energy programs. [18]

Differences in Foreign Policy

Linda Lingle has not spoken about foreign issues.

Mazie Hirono opposes removing US troops from Afghanistan. [19]

Debates

The first debate between Mazie Hirono and Linda Lingle was held on September 6, 2012 and was a fiesty affair. Some highlights are presented below:

The second debate was held on October 8 and was sponsored by AARP. Highlights below:

The final debate was held on October 22 and saw the two candidates continuing to attack each other. Hirono criticized Lingle for praising George Bush and supporting the Palin-McCain and Romney-Ryan tickets.[20]

Lingle vs Hirono in Opinion Polls

Hirono leads Lingle in early opinion polls in the state.

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Mazie
Hirono (D)
Linda
Lingle (R)
Jan van Lohuizen October 9-16, 2012 47% 43%
Honolulu Civil Beat/Merriman River Group September 26–28, 2012 55% 39%
Honolulu Star-Advertiser July 12–21, 2012 58% 39%
Honolulu Civil Beat/Merriman River Group June 5–7, 2012 49% 44%
Public Policy Polling May 16–17, 2012 50% 41%
Honolulu Star-Advertiser January 26 – Feb 5, 2012 57% 37%
Honolulu Civil Beat/Merriman River Group January 18–19, 2011 46% 39%
Public Policy Polling October 13–16, 2011 48% 42%
Honolulu Star-Advertiser May 4–10, 2011 57% 35%
Public Policy Polling March 24–27, 2011 52% 40%

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References

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