HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Just days left until the general election and that means candidates have a narrow window to win over voters. In our exclusive Hawaii News Now - Star Advertiser poll, we have results of one of the most contentious races this year, and the rail issue that's riding along.
The Honolulu Mayor's race has been hard-fought from the beginning, and it will be a tough race to the finish.
Kirk Caldwell and Ben Cayetano are offering two different paths to the Mayor's office. We asked Oahu respondents: If the general election were held today, who would you vote for? 53% said Kirk Caldwell. 42% answered Ben Cayetano.
"They're certainly different from the two polls that I saw pretty recently where one poll showed us tied and the other one showed me 4 points ahead," Cayetano responded.
Both men have made a career of public service and have name recognition with voters. 47% gave a favorable rating to Cayetano. 48% - unfavorable. Caldwell received a 60% favorable rating. 31% -unfavorable.
"It also confirms what I've been feeling over the last couple of weeks. I can feel this momentum. People are shaka-ing, their thumbs up, their "v" sign," Caldwell reacted.
The rail issue has played heavily into this race, and whoever wins could potentially make or break rapid transit in Honolulu. Cayetano is staunchly against it. Caldwell is for it. Voters were asked: What impact will your feelings on rail have on your vote? 55% said a great impact. 30% answered "Some" and 12% said it will have no impact at all.
Caldwell said, "I'm staying very positive in my campaign, talking about all the issues that people care about, not just a one issue candidate. It's sewage and water and road repair and grass cutting and all of those issues."
"If people who are against rail don't support me, then it's probably because PRP's smear campaign has had an impact," answered Cayetano. PRP is Pacific Resource Partnership - a pro-rail group that's spoken out against Cayetano.
Voters were asked: Do you think work should proceed on Oahu's rail transit system? The momentum seems to have flipped from earlier this year. This month, 50% said "Yes, it should go forward" - compared to 43% who answered "Yes" in February. 45% said "no" this month - compared to 53% who said "No" in February. 5% said they don't know or refused to answer - so this issue remains a toss-up.
The poll was taken October 15th through 22nd and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5%.