Political Radar


March 13th, 2013

Richard Borreca, the Star-Advertiser columnist, told readers Tuesday about a new poll taken for U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa on her political options next year.

Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, is thinking about primary campaigns against Gov. Neil Abercrombie or U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz. The exploratory poll was taken by QMark Research from 501 telephone interviews statewide from Feb. 19 to Feb. 27. The margin of error was 4.38 percentage points.

Here are the horseraces for governor:

Hanabusa: 55%
Abercrombie: 28%
Don't know: 15%
Refused: 2%

And U.S. Senate ...

Hanabusa: 54%
Schatz: 32%
Don't know: 13%
Refused: 0%

10 Responses to “Exploratory”

  1. Manoa_Fisherman:

    Ouch! Schatz looks like a little kid in the grownups table. Obviously he is not ready for primetime.

  2. Kolea:

    There is another telephone poll being carried out on the congressional races, asking about Schatz, Hanabusa and Tulsi. A friend was called a couple of days ago, after the QMark poll closed. The way the questions were asked led my friend to think it came from either the Hanabusa or Tulsi campaigns (or a third party supporting them).

    The poll numbers reported above are about where I would expect them to be for Hanabusa at this stage. She would be a formidable challenger to either Schatz or Abercrombie. Neil's numbers are low because he has recklessly alienated much of his support and I don't know if he can win it back. So a lot of voters want to punish him. I am not sure Colleen would look as good to voters as a campaign wears on and voters take a closer look. Even the unions, many of whom are mad at Neil, might remember they were not very happy with Hanabusa just a short while ago.

    Schatz's lower numbers are largely a reflection of how unknown he is. He is undefined in most voters minds and some of them might think of him as "Neil's boy," due to his stint as LG and the fact Neil appointed him to finish Inouye's term. As they get to know him, they will see he is independent from Neil, is sharp, honest and innovative. Because he is young, a lot will depend upon how voters use his past to judge his potential. The argument in favor of having a young senator in DC, acquiring seniority, is likely to carry a lot of weight.

    While Colleen wanted badly to be in the US Senate, the reality is, she is too old to acquire enough seniority to gain the sort of power she wants AND Hawaii needs. She will have more power, personally, if she runs for Governor and takes control of the State for eight years. BUT, does the current anti-Neil sentiment create a good enough opportunity for her to run NOW or should she wait until 2018? And if she waits, should she remain in the House or try to take out Schatz before he grows into the position?

    I think Tulsi would be making a mistake if she tries to run for the US Senate in 2014. Too fast, too soon. Even if her meteoric rise might suggest her blue God has intervened to elevate a devoted servant to power, I think her record of scant legislative achievement in the state House, the city council and, now, Congress, will strike most voters as TOO AMBITIOUS, too unproven. Is there any substance behind that smiling image? While the hordes of devoted Tulsibots will assured disagree, I think she needs to stay in the House and deliver.

    Some of my friends, more opposed to her than I am, WANT her to run in order to get her out of office. I think Tulsi is a unique enough person that she MAY become an EXCEPTIONAL legislator. But because so much about her is unknown, even secretive, that it is too early to predict which way she will go.

  3. TKeiko:

    Abercrombie made a huge mistake naming Schatz. It wasn't a matter of whether Inouye wanted a legacy replacement. Schatz is a lightweight and Abercrombie knew it. He got to be LG with a plurality of votes in a big field of weak candidates. When he ran against legitimate candidates for CD2 in 2006, he was crushed. He doesn't have what it takes, and no amount of seniority is going to help him because he'll never get any respect from his colleagues.

    Hanabusa is a strong experienced legislator who proved her abilities as Senate president. She's not only smart, she showed that she knows how to play the game. A couple of terms in the Senate is all she would need to make a difference for Hawaii.

    Inouye didn't want her because she was his friend. He knew that she was capable, and that she had a good chance of getting respect and continuing his work.

    Abercrombie's time in office has proven that he's a loud arrogant buffoon. Naming Schatz was the last nail in his political coffin. He should face facts and not run for reelection at all.

    Tulsi has a chance to stay in the House and get some experience, and still be young enough to run for Senate when Mazie or Hanabusa retire. If she runs now, she deserves to lose.

    To me the poll shows that the public is picking up on this. We're not as stupid as Abercrombie and Schatz thought.

  4. Ai Kea:

    I am a Hanabusa supporter and unbashedly pro-Hawai'i. In considering Colleen's ability to positively impact Hawai'i, I believe she would better serve the state and the nation in the US Senate. She's smart, sharp, and overall akamai. Some comments were made as to her age - my response would be how old was Daniel Inouye when he passed? Before he passed, was he any less effective or akamai? I think not - so if Colleen serves into her 80's, that would put her at 20+ years seniority. So who would you want in the senate, someone who has considerable experience on the state and national level that has earned the positions/offices held through the elective process or not? For me, the choice is clear - Hanabusa's the one!

  5. Nancy Schmitz:

    I have been disappointed with Neil but lacking someone else of experience, I am apt to stay with him. It is interesting to see if Colleen will run for governor. However, I would not want her to leave her current role at this time. Whether or not she has time to move up the ladder in either the Senate or the House. Schatz is way too unknown. I just had difficulty that he was appointed to the Senate seat. If he runs for Senate and is elected, then maybe that will be time for him to decide whether he wants to focus on the national or state political realm. It is way too soon for Tulsi to run for Senate. She needs to put in her time through a number of cycles to gain experience and connections within the beltway. Then she will be prime for the Senate. This article does set up some interesting scenarios to consider.

  6. Much ado:

    That is a really big spread for both races. And I can see Hanabusa doing a better than being done by the current office-holders.

    I voted for Abercrombie, but he's been all over the place since he took office. His campaign was so promising, but the results have been mediocre to truly bad. (And yet, *still* better than Mufi.)

    And as much as everyone talks about "seniority" for the US Senate, it's not a last-man-standing game where the only thing you have to do to "win" is wait out everyone else, like the last person touching a truck wins it. If you have a chance to put someone in that position who is undeniably smart, up on all of the current legislation and knows it backwards and forwards, and who can hit the ground running, why wouldn't you want to? Because someone who may "grow into" the job may be useful in 30 years? What does Hawaii do in the meantime? Cross our fingers that Schatz and/or Tulsi figure it out?

    Hanabusa is by far better, right now, than Abercrombie, Schatz, or Tulsi. In either position. The question, though, is which one she'll go for. I think that it all depends on her. (Except for Tulsi's decision, which seems to be based on her believing her own press that she is the "It" girl.)

  7. Gerald de Heer:

    No one has cast a vote yet. It can be argued that Governor Abercrombie has done the best he can under difficult circumstances. Rep Hanabusa is a strong candidate for House, Senate, and Governor. This poll is interesting, and that's about it. Unless more is known about the methodology and polling sample, the status quo is, for better or worse, in good shape for 2014. Real reform has to occur at the legislative and council levels. My guess is the polling sample includes a number of potential non-voters for 2014. It is an estimate, probably leaked to the media for fund-raising purposes. All the major candidates can spin the story to their benefit, if only to 'excite' their political bases.

  8. Keola:

    Wow, the Hanabusa people are still realing over the fact that she wasn't appointed to Senate. Fact of the matter is, if the Governor appoint Hanabusa to Senate, Hawaii would STILL even today be without a representative in the House, since filling a House seat requires a special election.

  9. Especially Incognito:


  10. Keola:

    48 votes for Schatz
    42 for Hanabusa
    39 for Kiaaina
    23 for Tony Gill

    Those were apparently the tallies when the Democratic Party of Hawaii voted on its list of candidates to offer to the governor for consideration (as reported by Hawaii News Now). Seems to me that Governor Neil's choice paralleled the Party's, no? Yet the Hanabusa camp wants to portray it as otherwise. Not based in reality.

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