(KHNL) - Sen. Daniel Akaka maintains his lead, holding a nine percent lead against challenger Rep. Ed Case, with 65 percent of the precincts reporting according Hawaii's Office of Elections second printout. Akaka has 87,102 votes to Case's 71,712. Akaka maintained his early lead with absentee voters and solidified his position as the front runner.
Akaka has led pre-election polls. The 82-year-old senator touts his 30 years of experience in Congress and his voting record against the war in Iraq. Case, 53, has said his relative youth is an asset, asking voters to elect a younger representative who can start building seniority in Washington.
Akaka has enjoyed more success in fundraising than Case, raising more than $2 million to Case's $817,000 by early this month. Key Senate Democrats endorsed Akaka.
Voter apathy is particularly strong in Hawaii. It is in last place in voter turnout. Only 40 percent of 626,000 registered voters cast ballots in the 2004 primary.