Hawaii voters may feel blue about the direction of the country. But that hasn’t affected their love affair with President Barack Obama.
A Civil Beat Poll found that 63 percent of likely voters in Hawaii approve of Obama’s job performance as president, while just 33 percent disapprove.
The poll, conducted on Oct. 20 and 23 using automated telephone technology, surveyed 1,152 likely voters. The sampling margin of error is +/- 3 percent.
Hawaii voters give the president, a native son, a much higher grade than he gets in national polls. The latest CBS/New York Times Poll completed on Oct. 24 found that 46 percent of Americans approved of his performance in office, with 46 percent disapproving.
The finding that the president’s popularity continues to hold could impact 2012 elections in the state, especially what’s expected to be a hot U.S. Senate race between former Gov. Linda Lingle and either Congresswoman Mazie Hirono or former Congressman Ed Case. The question will be whether the president has coattails for the Democratic candidate in the Senate contest and also in the 1st Congressional District rematch between incumbent Colleen Hanabusa and the Republican she unseated after he held the office for just a few months, Charles Djou.
In Hawaii, 35 percent of voters told Civil Beat they strongly approve of the president’s performance. We’ve already seen Lingle take steps to show she and the president have common ground.
For example, in late July, as she neared a decision on running, Lingle told supporters she and the president share similar views on education — support for charter schools, for merit pay and for closing failing schools. When she formally announced her candidacy on Oct. 11, she repeatedly stressed her record in reaching across party lines to solve problems.
While the president is getting good marks, it’s clear Hawaii voters are not happy with the direction of the country.
The Civil Beat Poll found that 56 percent of voters said they feel that things in the United States are generally going in the wrong direction, with just 25 percent saying things are going in the right direction. Hawaii’s likely voters have a more positive attitude about the direction of the country than what the CBS/New York Times Poll found nationally. That poll reported 21 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction, with 74 percent thinking it’s on the wrong track.
Of those in The Civil Beat Poll who approved of Obama’s job performance, 47 percent said they think the country is going in the wrong direction. The numbers are far worse for those who disapprove of his job performance, with 91 percent saying it’s going in the wrong direction.
Congress hasn’t been spared the wrath of Hawaii voters.
The view from six time zones away from the Capitol in Washington is grim, essentially mirroring the nation’s.
The Civil Beat Poll found only 10 percent of Hawaii voters generally approve of the performance of Congress during the past year, with 76 percent holding a negative view and 14 percent unsure. Civil Beat did not ask about each member of the Hawaii delegation specifically or about the Hawaii delegation as a whole.
The CBS/New York Times Poll found the lowest approval rating it’s ever recorded dating back to 1977. Just 9 percent of Americans gave Congress a positive job rating, with 84 percent saying they disapprove.
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