Fifty-seven percent of voters have a positive impression of Hawaii’s only native son to serve in the White House.

Only 33 percent have a negative view of President Barack Obama, says a new Civil Beat Poll.

Gov. David Ige’s marks are nowhere near as high as the president’s, however, with registered voters split among positive and negative opinions. Almost one-third say they are “unsure” of how they feel about the governor. He does best among Japanese-American voters.

Civil Beat Poll: Hawaii Voter Opinion Of Elected Officials

And Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell scores about the same as Ige, with 40 percent of Oahu voters having a favorable opinion, 38 having a negative opinion, and 22 percent unsure.

“It’s interesting, because Obama always has been very consistent in our polls — around 60 or 62 percent,” said Matt Fitch, executive director of Merriman River Group, which conducted the poll. “He is now at 57 percent, which is a little lower but not dramatic. But compared with Ige and Caldwell, the president is doing well among Hawaii voters.”

Caldwell Up For Re-Election

Ige was sworn in as governor in December 2014 after sweeping out a Democratic incumbent in the primary and three opponents in the general election. His first year in office focused on government efficiency and finances and was distinguished by controversies such as a proposed telescope on Mauna Kea and a push to tackle homelessness and housing.

Caldwell survived a dramatic election four years ago in a contest centered on Honolulu’s rail system. Up for re-election this year, the mayor has also made affordable housing and homelessness priorities, while supporting an extension of a tax surcharge to pay for rail.

“It’s noticeable that people on Oahu are less happy than the neighbor islands in general with the direction of the state.” — Matt Fitch, pollster

Both leaders have their critics, and it’s possible Caldwell could be challenged by one or more significant opponents.

Regarding Ige’s modest numbers, Fitch said, “He has been governor for well over a year now and still a third of voters don’t know anything about him.”

On Oahu, meanwhile, Caldwell “has obviously a lot of challenges, but his re-election campaign is yet to begin and his favorability rating is above water.”

Civil Beat surveyed 922 registered voters statewide Jan. 26-29. The poll sampled 70 percent landlines and 30 percent cellphones, and had a margin of error of 3.2 percent. It included 614 registered Oahu voters, and that portion of the poll had a margin of error of 4 percent.

Paddling In Wrong Direction

Despite their approval of Obama himself, nearly half of the respondents say the country is going in the wrong direction, while just over one-third say it’s going in the right direction.

The negative view prevails strongly among those identifying themselves as conservative or Republican.

Civil Beat Poll: Is The Country Moving In The Right or Wrong Direction?

Even more people say Hawaii is headed in the wrong direction. Again, conservatives and Republicans agree with that sentiment in larger numbers than self-described liberals or Democrats.

“People are not happy with the direction of the country, but they don’t really blame Obama — he’s almost as popular as ever,” said Fitch. “They are not happy with the direction of Hawaii, but they don’t fully blame Ige.”

Fitch added, “It’s noticeable that people on Oahu are less happy than the neighbor islands in general with the direction of the state. But that’s also true about Obama.”

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