Hawaii Senate primary: Which poll to believe?
The matchup for Hawaii’s open Senate seat will officially be set Saturday, when the state holds its Democratic Senate primary.
And depending on which poll you believe, it’s either going to be a barn-burner or a blowout.
Former congressman Ed Case is challenging Rep. Mazie Hirono for the right to face Republican former governor Linda Lingle in the general election, and he’s long been the underdog. Hirono had the unofficial backing of the national Democratic Party, raised tons more money than Case did, leans further left than Case does, and according to some polls, she carries a double-digit lead into Saturday’s election.
As usual, though, polling in the Aloha State has been all over the place — with opposing polls in the last week showing Hirono up by 17 points and Case up 1 point.
So whom to believe?
Here’s the rundown:
* An internal Hirono poll conducted by Benenson Strategy Group (which also polls for President Obama) this week showed her leading by 17 points in the primary.
* An independent poll for the state’s Civil Beat Web site showed Case ahead by a nose, 47 percent to 46 percent. The poll was done by the Merriman River Group, which has also polled for Case.
* A Honolulu Star-Advertiser poll, conducted by Ward Research in mid-July, showed Hirono ahead 55 percent to 37 percent — similar to her polling.
* But a poll around the same time conducted for Lingle’s campaign, by Voter/Consumer Research, showed a tight race in the Democratic primary, with Hirono up 1 percent.
So in sum, Hirono’s pollster and Ward Research show her up big, while Civil Beat (using a pollster who has worked for Case) and Lingle’s pollster show the race neck-and-neck.
And really, it’s not a surprise; Hawaii has always been very hard to poll, with certain demographic groups in the
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