Civil Beat Poll - Hirono's Double-Digit Lead Over Lingle Holding

Chad Blair/Civil Beat

WASHINGTON — A month of head-to-head debates, outside spending and full-bore campaigning did not move the needle, and Mazie Hirono is still comfortably ahead of Linda Lingle in the race for Hawaii's open U.S. Senate seat.

The Civil Beat Poll shows Hirono, the Democrat and a three-term congresswoman, with a 55 percent to 40 percent lead over the two-term Republican Hawaii governor. The survey of 1,218 likely general election voters was conducted between Oct. 24 and Oct. 26.1 The poll's margin of error is 2.8 percent. Five percent said they were undecided.

Hirono's advantage is nearly identical to the 55-39 split The Civil Beat Poll found a month earlier in the first independent survey of the race since the two became their parties respective nominees in August.

"The bottom line is they're both well-known so you're not going to have a lot of movement," said Matt Fitch, executive director of Merriman River Group, which partners with Civil Beat on its polls. "So that doesn't surprise me."

The gap in the new poll was particularly large among the third of respondents who said they'd already voted, with Hirono leading 61 percent to 37 percent versus 52 percent to 42 percent for the two-thirds who said they haven't yet voted but definitely intended to do so. Early walk-in voting began Oct. 23, and absentee mail ballots were sent to voters starting around then.

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