HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. Neil Abercrombie’s challenger in the Democratic primary, State Sen. David Ige, has twice as much support from potential voters on Oahu than Abercrombie, according to the Hawaii News Now and Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s Hawaii Poll.
Even though Abercrombie represented urban Honolulu in Congress for 20 years before becoming governor, the poll showed 61 percent of Oahu voters back Ige with just 30 percent favoring Abercrombie.
"It is not a tough decision at all. I think the decision is really clear-cut for me," said Jill Akuna, a poll respondent who lives in Mililani on Oahu.
Akuna works as a behavioral health specialist with special education students at Mililani High School and she supports David Ige.
"I don't feel that the current administration has supported education well," Akuna said.
The poll showed Abercrombie has stronger support on the neighbor islands, where 46 percent of the poll respondents are for Abercrombie and 39 percent back Ige.
Myles Nonaka lives in Waikoloa on Hawaii island and works for a landscaping company. He told pollsters he backs Abercrombie.
"I don't have a problem with him, I don't think he's one of my favorites, I just don't have a problem with him. I think he's done a decent job," Nonaka said.
The poll showed Ige ahead of Abercrombie by 18 points -- 54 to 36 percent -- with 11 percent of the respondents saying they don’t know who they will vote for or refusing to answer. The overall margin of error is 4.6 percent in the poll, conducted by Ward Research.
Among ethnic groups, Ige and Abercrombie are splitting the Caucasian vote almost in half, with Abercrombie slightly leading 49 to 47 percent.
Ige is taking twice as many Japanese voters as Abercrombie – 62 to 28 percent. Ige also leads leading among Hawaiian voters, with 53 percent of their votes, compared to 31 percent for Abercrombie, the poll found.
Abercrombie has slightly more Filipino support than Ige, bringing in 46 percent of Filipino voters compared to Ige's 40 percent.
Ige’s support comes from older, richer voters, the poll found. Abercrombie is doing best with voters under 35 (55 percent of the vote compared to Ige’s 33 percent). Ige leads with poll respondents aged 35 to 54 (56 percent to 37 percent) and those 55 and older (57 percent for Ige vs. 30 percent for Abercrombie.
Voters who report their household income as $100,000 or more are more likely to support Ige, 59 percent to 32 percent for Abercrombie.
In the Democratic Senate primary, U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa leads Senator Brian Schatz among Oahu voters 49 to 45 percent.
But Hanabusa is way ahead on the neighbor islands, with 53 percent of the vote compared to Schatz's 35 percent.
Statewide, the Hawaii Poll found Hanabusa leading Schatz by eight points, 50 to 42 percent, with a margin of error of 4.6 percent.
In the ethnic breakdown of the Senate race, Schatz has nearly 20 percentage points more support from Caucasians than Hanabusa, 57 to 38 percent.
But Hanabusa leads him in the other three major ethnic groups: 18 points ahead with Japanese (54 for Hanabusa to 36 percent for Schatz); 28 points up with Filipinos (61 to 33 percent) and 41 percentage points ahead with Hawaiians (67 to 26 percent).
“With Hanabusa winning the Japanese, Filipino and Hawaiian votes, it’s hard to imagine how Schatz could win the election carrying just the Caucasian vote,” said Becki Ward, president of Ward Research, the company the conducted the poll.