HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In the Senate showdown between Democrats Brian Schatz and Colleen Hanabusa, Representative Hanabusa has a 50 to 42 percent lead over Senator Schatz in our new Hawaii News Now/Star Advertiser Hawaii poll.
Rep. Hanabusa said of the results, "We've always said it is voters who will make the decision as to who will serve the remaining term of Senator Inouye. We of course are hopeful these numbers will hold for the election."
Sen. Schatz responded, "It literally is the opposite what we've seen in all of the public and private polls."
Schatz points to six other polls that have him ahead between 7 to 10 points, adding "Our polls show great momentum, our polls show some separation. We're running ahead, but polls are not the most important thing. We've got to get out the vote."
UH Political Science Professor Colin Moore offered this analysis of the U.S. Senate race: "The HNN poll has Hanabusa up. A bunch of other ones have Schatz up. I think this race is just too close to call."
The candidates' approval ratings are a near draw. The favorable/unfavorable split for Hanabusa is 57 to 32, versus 54 to 30 for Schatz.
"I think a lot of Democrats out there have been struggling with this decision" said Schatz.
Hanabusa said, "We've told people to compare our records what we've been able to do."
53 percent of voters polled say the primary reason they will vote for Hanabusa is her leadership experience. Hanabusa replied, "we were hoping people would realize you need someone with experience to make up that void (of 74 years lost seniority) so we're pleased that's one of the major reasons people said they're supporting me."
For Schatz poll supporters, 29 percent said it's because of personality or style, 20 percent responded leadership experience and 17 percent don't like the 'other candidate.'
In response, Schatz said, "We think the reason I have such momentum is I have been representing Hawaii values, working hard for Hawaii in the Senate so we like where we're at."
Professor Moore summed up the likely primary election outcome this way, "whoever gets their voters out is who's going to win this race."
Both candidates are rallying supporters to get out the vote with a seat in the U.S. Senate at stake and mere days to go before the primary election.