Old, young, rich, poor, men, women. Almost across the board, more Hawaii voters want Democratic Gov. David Ige to win the Nov. 6 election than his Republican opponent, according to the latest Civil Beat Poll.
State Rep. Andria Tupola was down 21 percentage points in the poll, conducted Oct. 8-12. The survey included 961 likely voters statewide and had a margin of error of 3.2 percent.
It’s a nearly impossible gap to close in less than three weeks, especially with Ige’s 18-to-1 fundraising advantage. Ige has ads slated to run on TV through Election Day, which gives him an opportunity to reach voters in ways Tupola’s campaign can’t afford.
Ige pulled off a remarkable 20-point turnaround to win the Aug. 11 primary, but he did so over the course of five months and with $2.5 million in campaign funds. Tupola had $11,700 cash on hand as of Aug. 11, according to her most recent filing with the state Campaign Spending Commission.
Tupola’s only significant bastion of support is with conservatives — unsurprising in a state that Democrats have controlled for half a century.
She had 63 percent of conservatives’ support, compared to Ige’s 21 percent. The rest — 16 percent — didn’t want either candidate or weren’t sure.
By contrast, Ige had 69 percent of liberal/progressive support compared to Tupola’s 19 percent.
The split was similar along party lines among likely voters who identified as Republican or Democrat. Independents slightly favored Tupola, 39 percent to 37 percent.
Pearl John, 68, of Kunia, said she would be voting for Tupola because Republican values align with her own. John is particularly against abortion.
“If we want America to stay strong and da kine, we got to get back to our morals,” she said.
John, who’s retired, is also ready for a change. Hawaii has only had one Republican governor, Linda Lingle, since 1962.
“We just need somebody new,” she said.
John was among the 23 percent of female voters who support Tupola, compared to 59 percent who back Ige.
Kersten Johnson, a Hawaii island Democrat, is also an issue-oriented voter. She said Ige, who launched a sustainability initiative in 2016, has a strong track record on environmental issues.
“I don’t know Tupola very well, but I don’t feel a need to kick out Ige,” Johnson said.
The split among males was narrower, with 46 percent supporting Ige to 37 percent for Tupola.
Oahu voter Stefan Yoshioka, 71, said he voted for Lingle but has since switched back to supporting Democrats.
“We were hippies back in the day and now we’re old fut conservatives,” he said. “I was never a card-carrying Republican but in mid-life I started to change to more conservative feelings until the light went back on.”
Yoshioka, who worked for the federal government, said he will be voting for Ige, a decision that was made even easier by knowing they are brothers in the same fraternity, Phi Delta Sigma.
He said he ultimately just wants to see government get stuff done, so installing a Republican as governor doesn’t make sense in a state where all but five members of the 76-person Legislature are Democrat — ready and able to block a conservative administration.
The poll found Ige’s support to be strongest on Maui with 57 percent to Tupola’s 20 percent, followed by Hawaii island then urban Oahu, Kauai and rural Oahu.
The gap was closest in rural Oahu, areas beyond urban Honolulu, Kapolei and Mililani. Tupola, who lives in Waianae, had 32 percent of the support of rural Oahu voters to Ige’s 46 percent.
When it comes to income, Tupola did best among likely voters who earn more than $100,000 a year. Ige had 45 percent of support from these wealthier voters to Tupola’s 39 percent.
The gap widened among likely voters who earn less than $50,000, with Ige at 57 percent support to Tupola’s 26 percent. The split was similar among middle-income voters.
Outside of conservative voters, Tupola’s next best demographic breakdown was by age. She was a statistical tie with Ige for likely voters under 50, with 40 percent saying they supported Ige and 39 percent backing Tupola.
For voters age 50 or older, Ige had more than twice as much support — 58 percent to 27 percent.
Richard Nagahiro, a retiree in Honolulu, said he doesn’t agree with Ige on everything, especially the proposed constitutional amendment to raise property taxes on investment homes to increase funding for public education. But he still planned to support him.
“He’s going to win anyway,” Nagahiro said.
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