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Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Daily KOS Polls Hawaii Senate Race: Mufi 47–Lingle 40
By Selected News Articles @ 11:39 AM :: 6165 Views :: Energy, Environment

From Daily KOS: LINK

Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos/SEIU (3/24-27, Hawaii voters, no trendlines):

Ed Case (D): 52
Linda Lingle (R): 35
Undecided: 12

Colleen Hanabusa (D): 51
Linda Lingle (R): 40
Undecided: 9

Mufi Hannemann (D): 47
Linda Lingle (R): 40
Undecided: 14

Mazie Hirono (D): 52
Linda Lingle (R): 40
Undecided: 9

Ed Case (D): 50
Duke Aiona (R): 35
Undecided: 15

Colleen Hanabusa (D): 48
Duke Aiona (R): 43
Undecided: 9

Mufi Hannemann (D): 42
Duke Aiona (R): 42
Undecided: 16

Mazie Hirono (D): 49
Duke Aiona (R): 42
Undecided: 10

Ed Case (D): 53
Charles Djou (R): 35
Undecided: 12

Colleen Hanabusa (D): 50
Charles Djou (R): 40
Undecided: 10

Mufi Hannemann (D): 46
Charles Djou (R): 40
Undecided: 14

Mazie Hirono (D): 51
Charles Djou (R): 40
Undecided: 9
(MoE: ±3.3%)

In the wake of Sen. Dan Akaka's retirement announcement, Beltway pundits started talking up the chances of Linda Lingle, the recently termed-out Republican governor. This chatter ignored quite a few things: the fact that Lingle left office pretty unpopular after eight years (41-56 job approvals); that 2010's massive red tide failed to wash up on Hawaii's shores (GOP Rep. Charles Djou lost to Colleen Hanabusa; Dem Neil Abercrombie won the gubernatorial race over then-Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona in a landslide); and that a dude named Barack Obama would be on the top of the ticket next year (the native son won by 45 points in 2008).

Now, to imagine Lingle might be competitive, there's one more piece of evidence that will have to get ignored: this poll. With her underwater 41-51 favorable rating, she can't crack 40% against any Democrat, even the least popular among them, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann (39-48 favorables). And indeed Hanabusa, Rep. Mazie Hirono, and ex-Rep. Ed Case all clear 50 against her. If Lingle's own internal polls are showing markedly different numbers, then I think she's deluding herself. Of course, Aiona fares only slightly better, while Djou does no better than Lingle, but if Hawaii Republicans want to take on a hopeless suicide mission, they're welcome to do so.

One final note: If you weren't familiar with Hawaii politics, you might take a look at these numbers and say, "Wow! Who is this Ed Case guy? He performs the best of all the Dems, and does really well among independent voters!" These things are true, but don't be fooled: Ed Case has a long conservative pedigree as scion of the (now-defunct) Democratic Leadership Committee, the same corporatist outfit which more or less gave Joe Lieberman a reason for being. I won't spill a lot of electrons on him right now, but I'm sure commenters will regale you with his greatest hits. I am somewhat surprised to see his favorables are so strong (51-30), despite running in a nasty special election last year which tarnished both Djou (40-47) and Hanabusa (45-41).

But while these numbers might offer Case an "electability" argument, all Dems are clearly capable of winning—and what's more, Case would have to make it out of a primary first. So it's important to look at each Dem's favorables among members of their own party:

Hirono: 72-16
Hanabusa: 65-19
Case: 50-30
Hannemann: 44-44

That's going to be tough for Case to pull off (and Hannemann, too—his negative primary against Abercrombie last year seems to be hurting him). But Hirono and Hanabusa should talk, though, and figure out which of them ought to run, because in a multi-way race, Case could definitely sneak through, and we definitely do not want that.

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