HAWAII POLL: Ige holds double-digit lead over Abercrombie in governor's primary
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
The new Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser Hawaii Poll has State Senator David Ige ahead of incumbent Governor Neil Abercrombie by double digits in their bitter Democratic primary race.
Abercrombie joked days ago about considering his challenger for a Cabinet position, saying "I would be happy to think about finding a position for him in our next administration."
But could the Senator get the last laugh? The Campaign 2014 Hawaii Poll finds Ige with an 18 point lead over the incumbent.
Senator Ige told Hawaii News Now, "It does validate what we've been seeing. We can definitely feel the momentum."
He went on to say, "It is clear to me that the people of Hawaii will make a statement on primary election day."
UH Political Science Professor Colin Moore offered this analysis of the poll results: "When you're talking about such a substantial lead so close to the election, I think the governor should be very concerned."
Governor Abercrombie declined an interview, but maintains confidence.
Abercrombie's campaign manager said in a statement, “Our internal poll numbers indicate this race is clearly winnable for Gov. Abercrombie. Our grassroots efforts are surging, with key endorsements from President Obama, Mayor Caldwell and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The Governor is humbled by the level of support he has received to continue for another term."
Forty percent of the Governor's Hawaii poll supporters like his "leadership experience."
When asked the primary reason they're going to vote for Ige, 46 percent responded they "just don't like the other candidate."
We asked Senator Ige his thoughts on that, saying "a lot simply don't like your opponent."
Ige responded with a chuckle, "I think that's part of it, but you know Tannya, it's more than that. People are wanting change."
56 percent polled disapprove of the Governor's job performance, his lowest to date.
Prof. Moore said, "For an incumbent Democratic Governor to lose in the primary would be shocking, but it looks like given these poll results today, that's very possible to happen."
Republican candidate for Governor, James "Duke" Aiona said, "I think that's a story. In this State. It would be historical because that's never happened before."
Aiona has been watching the Democrats' campaign closely to look ahead to the general election.
The former Lieutenant Governor told HNN, "It doesn't matter who it's going to be. It's going to be a tough race. They're both credible candidates."
In a three-way race with Independent Mufi Hannemann, Aiona wins. He beats Abercrombie by 15 points, and Ige by seven. Hannemann's numbers hold steady at 14 or 15 in these match ups.
Hannemann said in a statement, "Poll numbers for the general election won’t mean much until after the Democratic primary and the actual candidates are set. Our strategy all along was to wait until the general election. We were the last to officially announce, have not done any tv or radio advertising and have not participated in any debates. Once we begin campaigning in earnest after the primary, we believe our numbers will move."
In the Hawaii poll, Hannemann had the lowest favorability rating of 39 percent. 49 percent had an unfavorable view of the former Mayor.
Only Abercrombie's unfavorable rating was higher at 58 percent.
On the flip side, 57 percent had a 'favorable' opinion of Ige and Aiona earned the highest favorability at 63 percent.