On campaign's final day, Lingle and Hirono work the phones - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

On campaign's final day, Lingle and Hirono work the phones

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

The candidates for Hawaii's open U.S. Senate seat spent the last full day before Election Day trying to get their supporters to remember to vote Tuesday, if they haven't already voted.

At Mazie Hirono's Iwilei headquarters off Nimitz highway late Monday morning, the Senate candidate herself was working the phones along with volunteers, contacting likely Democratic voters. 

"I am calling you to ask you to be sure to vote tomorrow and I hope you will be voting for me for the United States Senate and for President Obama and for Colleen Hanabusa and our entire Democratic ticket," Hanabusa, a Democrat, told one potential voter on the phone. 

Hanabusa has had the advantage all along in a state where about 60 percent of the voters identify themselves as Democrats, resulting in her edge in the polls. But Hirono wanted to make sure her supporters don't get complacent and decide they don't have to vote.

"I take nothing for granted and as you can see, we've been phone banking and knocking on doors for a long time now.  And is all about getting out the votes in the last several days," Hirono said. 

Just a few blocks away at Linda Lingle's headquarters along Dillingham Boulevard in Kalihi, phone bank volunteers ring a bell each time they call a voter who plans to vote or already voted for Lingle. 

The Republican candidate also took to the phones to speak one-on-one to her known supporters. 

"We're just calling and reminding our supporters to make sure that their absentee ballot goes in," Lingle told one potential voter on the phone. 

Since Lingle first was elected governor in 2002, she's used a well-organized plan to identify supporters and make sure they've voted. 

"We have operations like this across the state, on every island.  People are making phone calls to those who we've identified throughout the campaign as being supporters," Lingle said. 

In October, a Hawaii News Now/Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll found Hirono had a 22-point lead, with 57 percent of the respondents saying they'd vote for Hirono while 35 percent of those who answered the poll supported Lingle.  Another seven percent didn't know who they'd vote for or refused to answer.  The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus three and a half percent. 

Lingle said the polls that show her behind are inaccurate. 

"Because I'm a Republican in a Democrat state, people are not as willing to say that they're voting for me on the phone.  And I think you saw some of that in the primary election even on the Democrat side.  They're not willing to say they're voting for a newer person, a fresher face," Lingle said. 

"All of our internal polls at the end had me within the margin of error, which means it's a dead heat.  But it also showed 12 percent of the people not willing to say who they're voting for and we think that's a really great sign for me.  Because people aren't willing to say, there's a high likelihood they're voting for me," Lingle added. 

Hirono hoped for a boost from President Obama's re-election campaign in the state in which he was born, where voters gave him 72 percent of the statewide vote in 2008. 

"The fact that the president is very popular here and yes, he is keiki o ka aina, that means a lot," Hirono said. "And I also believe that he truly does represent the kind of priorities for jobs and protecting social security and Medicare, all the kinds of issues I've focused on." 

"I particularly want to the get the message out to Democrats and Independents: please go out and vote because the future of our country, I believe, is going to be determined by this election, based on who's going to become our president and who's going to control the United States Senate," Hirono added. 

copyright 2012 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.


Top Stories

Election page (SIDEBAR)


Click to check out our special election page More>>

Powered by Frankly