Civil Beat/HNN poll shows Green with commanding lead in Democratic race for governor

Some 48% of Hawaii voters say they support Green.
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 4:14 AM HST|Updated: Jul. 6, 2022 at 6:55 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Lt. Gov. Josh Green continues to enjoy a commanding lead in the Democratic primary race for governor, while Congressman Kai Kahele and businesswoman Vicky Cayetano are in a distant second and third place, respectively.

That’s according to the results of a new Honolulu Civil Beat/Hawaii News Now poll.

Some 48% of Hawaii Democratic primary voters say they support Green. Meanwhile, 16% said they’d back Kahele and 15% said they planned to vote for Cayetano. Roughly 1 in 5 of those polled were still unsure who they planned to support.

“I’m struck by how consistent Green’s lead has been,” said HNN political analyst Colin Moore. “Ballots are going to be mailed out in just a few weeks so there’s not a lot of time to close this lead if Kai Kahele or Vicky Cayetano is going to do it.”

Lt. Gov. Josh Green continues to enjoy a commanding lead in the Democratic race for governor.
Lt. Gov. Josh Green continues to enjoy a commanding lead in the Democratic race for governor.(Hawaii News Now)

Green’s support was most pronounced among Hawaii voters 50 and up — some 54% of whom said they supported him. Among those 18 to 49 years old, some 38% said they would vote for him.

In contrast, Kahele had stronger numbers among the younger group.

According to the poll, Green also has strong support across Hawaii’s largest ethnic groups, including those who identify as Caucasians, Japanese and Filipinos. Some 35% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders said they support Green compared to 32% who say they’d back Kahele, who is Native Hawaiian.

Green, who is an ER doctor on Hawaii Island, got the most support from Hawaii County. Kahele, who is from Hawaii County, saw his strongest support on Kauai. And Cayetano got the most support from Maui.

On Republican side, Aiona and Penn are close

On the Republican side, former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona has 27% of the vote while MMA champion BJ Penn is at 24%.

In third place is City Councilwoman Heidi Tsuneyoshi at 9%. Some 29% of voters are unsure.

Civil Beat Politics and Opinion Editor Chad Blair said if Penn wins the nomination, his criminal record will be questioned.

“As you know, there is a not a short list of incidences that he’s been involved in that are legally of concern,” Blair said.

“So I think Duke Aiona recognizes that as well. And probably, he determined that all he has to do is get 35 to 40% of the vote or less in order to win this nomination.”

[Continuing Coverage: Civil Beat/HNN Poll: Green Enjoys 30 Point Lead Over Kahele, Cayetano In Gov Race]

Following the frontrunners is Aloha Freedom Coalition leader Gary Cordery at 7% with Lynn Mariano and Paul Morgan both at 3%.

“I have never seen it so crowded so many people vying to be governor as a Republican,” Blair said.

Looking at the demographic breakdown, Aiona tends to appeal to older voters and conservative voters while Penn supporters tend to be younger and moderate.

The Civil Beat/HNN poll was conducted from June 28 to 30 and 1,120 registered voters.

Of those, 782 were Democratic primary voters, giving the representative poll a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. On the Republican side, 269 primary voters were polled, and the margin of error was plus or minus 6 percentage points.

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