HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Neil Abercrombie and democratic congressional candidate Colleen Hanabusa are getting a presidential push from the commander and chief less than two weeks before the general election.
New television spots are airing in Hawaii in which President Obama asks people to vote for Abercrombie, who is running against republican Lieutenant Governor James "Duke" Aiona, and Hanabusa, who is running against republican Congressman Charles Djou.
"My friend Neil Abercrombie is the inspiring leader that Hawaii needs right now. He has the experience, independence and character to be a great governor. I've known Neil my entire life. I know that he will create jobs for Hawaii's families, improve our schools and help drive a new clean energy economy throughout the islands," Obama says of Abercrombie in the ad.
"To keep Hawaii moving forward I need a partner I trust like Colleen Hanabusa. Colleen's values are Hawaii's values. They are the values I learned growing up. That's why she'll defend Medicare and social security and always fight for your jobs and a better future. Hawaii needs Colleen in congress and I need her in Washington," Obama says of Hanabusa.
Democrats obviously think the ads will help. Republicans think they will backfire.
"I think it shows how out of touch both Hanabusa and Abercrombie are when every democrat in the United States is running away from Obama and his failed agenda. They're embracing him and I think voters are going to be able to make a judgment whether or not that's a good idea in November," said Dylan Nonaka, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Hawaii.
Hawaii News Now hit the street to ask people what they think. Will messages from the most powerful man in the world influence the way they vote?
"Sure," said Patrick Nguyen. "Obama's a Hawaii native and I like him and personally I like his judgment and if he endorses Colleen or Abercrombie I would definitely vote for both of those candidates," Nguyen added.
"They don't affect me," said Malcolm Farley. "I'm a registered voter. I'm going to vote. I'm going to take the individuals collectively for what I know of them and I'm going to try to vote for the best candidate possible. I'm not affected by the ads, no."
"It would help because I know Hawaii is overall a big supporter of Obama because he's from here and I think that his support for these candidates would help their popularity grow," commented Maria Kashem.
The president has also sent emails to democrats urging them to support Abercrombie and Hanabusa.