Honolulu mayoral candidates pound the pavement in final days of campaign

The general election is now just three days away and more than 100,000 residents in Hawaii have already voted, or about 25 percent of registered voters.

Saturday was the last day for early walk-in voting. Lines were long at Honolulu Hale, but overall during the early voting period, there were 23,959 walk-in Oahu voters in total, and 103,176 voted by mail.

As for Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell and challenger Charles Djou, they pounded the pavement all over Oahu Saturday, shaking hands and waving signs to try and get every last vote heading down the stretch.

We caught up with Charles Djou in Waikele, where he briefly stopped at Leonard’s to pick up malasadas for volunteers, then it was back to knocking on doors.

He acknowledged the campaign has been a whirlwind. “It’s gone well,” he said. “It’s been very hectic for me. It’s been a mad dash in the time I announced to now that we’re in the last 72 hours. This is the real deal, so I really have to push hard to the end and hopefully put it together on Tuesday.”

Mayor Caldwell hit many different stops during the day, including sign waving in Hawaii Kai.

The mayor says say he’s had a productive week. “I feel really good, I feel very positive,” he said. “There’s a lot of ‘toots’ and ‘honks’ and we’ve been walking all around the island for the past week. Last night, we were at the UH volleyball game, and even when it got dark, people were still stopping, shaking my hand.”

With this being a presidential election year, we wanted to know how the candidates felt how the election for the highest office in the land has affected their own campaigns, and how they think it will effect turnout at the polls Tuesday.

“To have it so polarized — people are so angry and upset — they are going to come out to vote, and I hope that when they do, they’ll vote for me, too.”

“It’s really hard for me to judge,” Caldwell said. “I’m just focused on this mayoral campaign. For me, this is a non-partisan campaign, as it should be. A lot of these national issues have very little implication on what’s going on here locally in our community.”

We asked the same question to our political expert and analyst Dr. John Hart of Hawaii Pacific University, who tells us there have been different approaches to get out the vote.

“Traditionally, presidential elections bring out more voters, so we should see more voters at the polls this time,” he said. “Because it is a presidential election, that traditionally helps Democrats, because they’re more Democrats in Hawaii than Republicans.”

In the primary, Mayor Caldwell garnered just over 44.5 percent of the vote, with Djou receiving just under 44 percent.

Both candidates will hold multiple events leading up to General Election Day.

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