Civil Beat Poll - What the Heck Happened?

Flickr: aflcio

At Tulsi Gabbard's celebration Saturday night, the accolades came in a steady stream: "How 'bout that Civil Beat Poll?"

Five miles away, at Mazie Hirono's party, the same question was asked more derisively: "How 'bout that Civil Beat Poll?"

We were baffled by the turn of events. We nailed Gabbard's big win over Mufi Hannemann right on the nose, but our otherwise sterling election survey record was tarnished with Hirono's decisive victory over Ed Case in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

Ten days before the vote, our poll showed Gabbard up 20 points and she ended up winning by 20.4 percent — not too shabby. In the same poll, Case led Hirono, 47-46, but Hirono went on to win by nearly 17 percent. We were way, way off on that one.

To be clear, the pre-election projections all came from the same voter survey, even though they were unrolled in separate articles last week. In other words, the people who said they'd vote for Gabbard and then did were in many cases the exact same people who said they'd vote for Case — and then didn't.

Across town, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser- and Hawaii News Now-sponsored Hawaii Poll was right where we were wrong, and wrong where we were right. In their survey taken in mid-July, the Hawaii Poll showed Hirono leading 55-37 and Hannemann up 43-33.

So, what's up with these polls?

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