Civil Beat Poll: Djou On Way To May 22 Victory

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Republican Honolulu City Councilman Charles Djou is on his way to Washington to represent Hawaii's 1st Congressional District, according to a new poll of likely voters conducted for Civil Beat.

Djou leads with 39.5 percent of the vote, followed by former Congressman Ed Case and Senate President Colleen Hanabusa, who are tied at 25.5 percent, according to the poll by Aloha Vote, a Hawaii subsidiary of Merriman River Group (MRG), a Connecticut research organization. Nearly 10 percent are undecided.

"He's got it all but wrapped up," Matt Fitch, executive director of Merriman River Group, said of Djou's chances in the May 22 special election. "The only thing in question is who finishes second."

Second place could matter for the Democratic primary in September, when Case and Hanabusa are widely expected to face off again. Any edge heading into that contest would be prized, because the winner of that primary will likely be favored to win the seat in November. If Case's and Hanabusa's support in the special election were combined, it would give a single Democratic candidate more than 50 percent of the vote.

"Finishing second here might translate into being the favorite in November," Fitch said. "I think it's going to be Hanabusa," he said, explaining that Japanese Americans, the group with whom she is strongest, are slightly less likely to provide demographic information or take a poll. "If there's any underreporting, it would be for Hanabusa. Since she's so close, I think she outfinishes him."

The automated telephone poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points. The poll of 1,081 likely voters was conducted on May 6 and 7.

More than half the respondents — 52.6 percent — had already voted. And of that group, Djou got 45 percent of the vote, one reason it's so difficult to imagine trends changing in any significant way between now and May 22.

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