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Friday, October 21, 2011
Neil Abercrombie is the Least Popular Governor in USA
By Selected News Articles @ 5:19 PM :: 6788 Views :: Energy, Environment

Hawaii Miscellany

From Public Policy Polling, October 21, 2011

-Neil Abercrombie has assumed the dubious distinction of 'most unpopular Governor in the country' in PPP's polling. Only 30% of voters now approve of him to 56% disapproving. That represents a 33 point decline in his net approval since March, when PPP found him at 48/41.

Independents (21/65) and Republicans (13/80) are both pretty universal in their disapproval of Abercrombie. But what really sinks his numbers is that even Democrats barely approve of the job he's doing- 43% give him good marks while 39% dissent.

I think Abercrombie's issues might be part of the reason for Linda Lingle's image resurgence over the last six months. Folks who might have burned out on her by the end of her time in office may now be looking at her in comparison to their feelings about Abercrombie and coming to the conclusion that she wasn't so bad.

-Daniel Inouye, on the other hand, is a model of popularity. 62% of voters are happy with the job he's doing to only 23% who disapprove. That ties Inouye for the second most popular Senator in the country, measured by net approval, behind only John Barrasso of Wyoming. Inouye has near universal approval from Democrats, is very solid with independents at 53/31, and comes pretty close to break even with Republicans at 36/46. 

Daniel Akaka has solid numbers, at 48/38, although he comes nowhere close to Inouye. Akaka is strong with Democrats but can't match Inouye's appeal with Republicans and independents.

Inouye and Akaka's numbers are both down from PPP's March poll of the state. Inouye's approval had been a net +46 (69/23) so he's down 7 points. And Akaka had been a net +20 (55/35) so he's down 10 points. In addition to Abercrombie, Barack Obama's numbers in the state are down as well. The general discontent with politicians that's sweeping the country has come to Hawaii.

-If Republicans are looking for candidates to run for statewide office or the House somewhere further down the road Duke Aiona and Charles Djou still look like good bets despite their losses last year. Aiona's statewide favorability is 42/34 and Djou's is 42/39. It's impressive for any GOP politician to have positive numbers in a state as blue as Hawaii. Both have very strong numbers with Republicans and independents, as well as a decent amount of appeal to Democrats.

Colleen Hanabusa has comparable statewide numbers to the two Republicans at 42/36 favorability. For a Democratic incumbent to lose in Hawaii is usually going to require being pretty unpopular, so while her numbers aren't amazing they're probably not anything to worry about too much either.

-49% of Hawaii voters support gay marriage to 40% who are opposed. This really shows the extent to which the tide is turning. In 1998 voters in the state passed a constitutional amendment that basically banned gay marriage by a 69-29 margin. Now they're ready to make it legal.

When you extend the discussion to gay marriage/civil unions 77% of voters supporting granting legal recognition to same sex couples through one of those channels while only 22% are completely opposed to giving gay couples any rights. 90% of Democrats, 70% of independents, and even 59% of Republicans are for legal recognition.

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