Politics

Civil Beat Poll: Hawaii Voters Moving Toward Schatz in U.S. Senate Race

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz leads Rep. Colleen Hanabusa 44 percent to 39 percent in what is quickly becoming one of the most-watched Democratic primaries in the country.

·By Chad Blair

With less than two months to go before the first votes will be cast, Brian Schatz leads Colleen Hanabusa by 5 percentage points in the Democratic primary for Senate, a new Civil Beat Poll shows.

Schatz, the incumbent, has the support of 44 percent of Hawaii voters who say they will pull the Democratic ballot in the Aug. 9 primary. Hanabusa, a U.S. representative, polled 39 percent, with 16 percent saying they were undecided.

U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz and wife Linda before a TV interview at the Democratic Party of Hawaii convention, May 24, 2014.

PF Bentley/Civil Beat

This is the fourth time Civil Beat has polled the Schatz-Hanabusa race over the past year, but it is the first time that one candidate appears to be gaining ground. Our previous polls showed the race essentially tied, with a lot of voters undecided.

“There has been a movement toward Schatz,” said Matt Fitch, executive director of Merriman River Group, which conducted The Civil Beat Poll. “Outside of Hawaii, there has been a pronounced coalescing around his candidacy. Inside Hawaii, there has been some gradual movement toward him.”

“He certainly is the favorite now,” Fitch added. “We are showing a closer, though widening race at this time than some other very good national pollsters. We respect what they do, but we perhaps have a different model about the ethnic composition of the likely voters in August.”

A poll conducted May 9-11 by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Democracy

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