HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The latest Hawaii Poll shows Democratic former congressman Neil Abercrombie holding a lead over Republican Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona in the race for governor.
The poll showed Abercrombie with 51 percent, and Aiona with 43 percent. One percent preferred other candidates, while five percent said they were either undecided or wouldn't give an answer.
"It's almost a rule of politics that once you go over 50 percent, that means that you're doing very well, and that is something that we've been pushing for," Abercrombie said of the poll.
"We're tracking it internally and our polls don't show the same result," said Aiona. "But we just know we've got our work ahead of us, so we've got to get out there and get our voters out there to vote, and make sure that they turn out to vote."
Abercrombie's primary opponent, former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, has thrown his support to Abercrombie, but Hannemann voters don't appear to be following his lead. According to the Hawaii Poll, 82 percent of people who voted for Abercrombie in the primary will also vote for him in the general election. But 63 percent of Hannemann voters said they will vote for Aiona on November 2nd. Only 29 percent of Hannemann supporters said they will vote for Abercrombie.
Abercrombie believes he'll be able to round up more Hannemann voters in the next few days, as the former mayor has been more visible in trying to rally his supporters toward Abercrombie.
"We believe we're in an excellent position to follow up on the verbal commitment with some genuine grassroots action at this stage, and I believe those numbers will change significantly in our direction as a result," Abercrombie said.
Aiona said the poll numbers confirmed what he has heard from Hannemann voters. He also said some people may have voted for Abercrombie in the primary for strategic reasons.
"I've heard a lot of people who've come to me and said 'I voted for Abercrombie because I thought he'd be an easier match for you in the general election,' and I've heard a lot more than that," said Aiona.
Both candidates said the numbers mean more hard work in the final stretch to the general election.
"We have to cross the finish line. Nobody's easing up," Abercrombie said.
"We're gonna stay focused," said Aiona. "We're gonna take this day by day."
The Hawaii Poll was conducted for Hawaii News Now and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser by Ward Research on Oct. 12-19. There were 608 respondents, and the poll has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.