It’s a long way til November.
The automated telephone survey of 1,358 likely voters found Case has a 13 percentage point margin over Lingle, 46 percent to 33 percent. Hirono has a 7 percentage point margin, 46 percent to 39 percent. In each case, roughly 20 percent of likely voters said they were either undecided or would pick another candidate.
The poll was conducted on January 18 and 19, and has a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent.
Case and Hirono, both lawyers, are facing off in the Aug. 11 Democratic primary. Neither has won a statewide race at the top of a ticket before, and Hirono has already been defeated once by Lingle, in the 2002 governor’s race.
In a traditionally Democratic state, the presence of the two-term Republican governor in the contest has put the seat into play and thrust Hawaii’s contest onto the national stage. Control of the Senate is at stake and Hawaii is one of the states where Republicans could make gains. Lingle announced later than her potential opponents, but last week exhibited the strength of her candidacy when she released fundraising figures showing she has already dramatically surpassed their totals. That news came after the poll was taken.
The most recent previous independent poll of this race came just days after Lingle entered the fray in October. Public Policy Polling found Hirono besting Lingle, 48 percent to 42 percent, and Lingle essentially tied with Case, with the Republican at 45 percent and the Democrat at 43 percent. The margin of error was +/- 4.1 percent. Since then, Case has had
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