Hanabusa is at 49.1 percent to 44.2 percent for Djou, with 6.7 percent undecided, an automated telephone poll of 609 likely voters found. The survey was conducted Oct. 11 by Aloha Vote, a Hawaii subsidiary of Merriman River Group (MRG), a Connecticut research organization that also polled the 1st Congressional District special election in May and the primary election in September for Civil Beat. The margin of error is +/- 4.0 percent.
Three weeks before their rematch on Nov. 2, this time without a second candidate to split the Democratic vote the way Hanabusa and Ed Case did in the May 22 special election, it appears that Hanabusa is doing what she needed to do after that contest — consolidate Democratic support.
Djou won the special election to complete the term of governor candidate Neil Abercrombie with 39.4 percent of the vote vs. 30.8 percent for Hanabusa and 27.6 percent for Case. Case immediately dropped out of the September primary and threw his support to Hanabusa, setting the stage for the November showdown.
The result, unlike in the governor’s race, where supporters of defeated former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann have jumped to the Republican candidate, James “Duke” Aiona, by a 2-1 margin, is that Hanabusa is picking up her opponent’s supporters.
Sixty-six percent of the people who voted for Case in the special election are now voting for Hanabusa, with 26 percent opting for Djou.
“The thing that stands out is that unlike the Hannemann supporters, who are splitting for the Republican, Hanabusa is holding on to the Case supporters,” said Seth Rosenthal, Merriman River Group’s polling director. “The Democrats are mostly coming home to Hanabusa.”
Hanabusa is getting 77 percent of Democrats. Djou is getting 92 percent of Republicans, and two-thirds of independents. But there are so many Democrats in Hawaii that she’s still holding on to the lead, Rosenthal said.
Other findings from the poll:
COMING FRIDAY: Civil Beat poll results on the Board of Education constitutional amendment.