Election Day may be more than a year away, but election season is already starting to heat up.

Civil Beat polled nearly 900 registered voters about the top political races and hot issues, local and national.

The Senate seat now held by Sen. Brian Schatz who is being challenged by Rep. Colleen Hanabusa is up for grabs, according to our pollster. Schatz leads by three points, 36 percent to 33 percent, but with a margin of error of 3.3 percent, the race is a statistical dead heat. And within days of the release of our numbers, the different camps touted their own polls showing Hanabusa ahead in her poll and Schatz in his.

Although Gov. Neil Abercrombie is running unopposed for reelection, his relatively low approval ratings continue and could give rise to challengers.

On the issue of gun control, Hawaii voters overwhelmingly support a statewide ban on assault weapons. An even larger percentage support a national law expanding background checks for gun sales made at gun shows and over the Internet.

And could Hawaii be on track to a more direct democracy? Voters certainly seemed amenable to the idea, vis-a-vis a ballot initiative system at the state level that would allow residents to put issues directly before voters by getting enough signatures on a petition.

We’ve posted the full questionnaire and results.

Meanwhile, in case you were lost in the latest poll results or enjoying your time off at the beach, here are 10 other stories from this 4th of July holiday week:

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