HAWAII POLL: Hanabusa takes early lead in Senate race

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A new Hawaii poll has U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa leading incumbent Brian Schatz by eight percentage points for the Democratic primary for Schatz's Senate seat.

And state Senate President Donna Kim leads the crowded field to replace Hanabusa in the U.S. House.

The Hawaii poll surveyed 528 likely voters in the Aug. 9 primary and found that 48 percent supported Hanabusa while 40 percent said they would vote for Schatz. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.3 percent.

"This is the first step in a series of polls," said Hanabusa.

"But it is really something to have (that) the people feel this way. And believe me, we are very humbled by it."

In the House race, 31 percent said they would vote for Kim in the House District 1 race followed by state Rep. Mark Takai with 21 percent. Honolulu Councilmen Stanley Chang and Ikaika Anderson both received 10 percent of the vote.

"(Kim) has the advantage of being a longtime serving member of the Legislature. People know who she is," said University of Hawaii Political Science Professor Colin Moore.

Name recognition is also playing a major role in the Senate race.

Only 3 percent of the poll's participants said they've never heard of Hanabusa while 13 percent said they've never heard of Schatz.

"He doesn't have the kind of name recognition which these polls show," Moore said.

Schatz declined comment on the Hawaii poll, citing his own internal poll that he says shows different results.

It's only the beginning of the election season and Schatz has a huge when it comes to raising campaign funds with over $2.4 million in the bank. That's the kind of money that will raise his profile among undecided voters.

"I think if he's to win this race, he needs to continue to raise these funds and have more campaign events," Moore said.

Hawaii Poll Tables: Click for a breakdown of the numbers - http://hine.ws/2014hipoll1

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