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Slightly fewer voters voice approval of Abercrombie

By Derrick DePledge

LAST UPDATED: 12:16 p.m. HST, Oct 30, 2012

Embed code: Oct 2012 Hawaii Poll Tables

Gov. Neil Abercrombie's job approval rating has slipped as his administration struggles to find footing after nearly two years in power.

Forty-one percent of voters in a new Hawaii Poll approve of Abercrombie's job performance, down from 43 percent in July. The Demo­cratic governor has not been over 50 percent in any of the four surveys taken since he took control of Washington Place in December 2010.

Just 51 percent of voters who usually vote Demo­cratic approve of Abercrombie's performance, the same as in July, while 39 percent of union households give the governor a positive rating, up slightly from July.

President Barack Obama's job approval rating in Hawaii is 68 percent, the poll found. In contrast to Abercrombie, the Hawaii-born Demo­crat received high marks among traditional Demo­crats and union households, the party's political base. Eighty-nine percent of Demo­crats approve of the president's performance, while 75 percent of union voters do.

"While we appear to have turned the economic corner, the governor continues to make the tough decisions to maintain a solid fiscal position, including sacrifices by state workers," Blake Oshiro, Abercrombie's deputy chief of staff, said in an email. "But, we have experienced a rise in job employment numbers partly due to the fact that the governor continues to initiate (capital improvement) projects across the state. Taxpayers also received their refunds in a timely manner and we are paying our bills with only minimal delay.

"While the changes that are occurring may not appear drastic, important New Day initiatives are moving forward and the governor deserves credit for his unwavering commitment to doing what's right for all people," Oshiro said.

Dan Boylan, a political analyst and professor emeritus of history at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu, said he believes Abercrombie's low job approval ratings are linked to actions he took to help the state get through the recession. Boylan said former Gov. Linda Lingle's job approval ratings also declined during the recession.

The state's financial outlook has improved as the economy recovers.

"The economy is improving. I think that's going to mean better numbers for him in the next couple years, assuming that it continues to improve," said Boylan, who is also a MidWeek columnist.

Boylan, like other political analysts, said Abercrombie still has a tendency to self-inflict damage with often rash public statements.

"I think he's got to watch what he says. He's been awfully blunt and caused a lot of his own trouble, I think, in that first year in office in particular," he said. "He's been quieter since and his numbers have gone up."

The Hawaii Poll was taken by Ward Research for the Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now between Oct. 15 and 22. The interviews were conducted with 786 likely voters statewide on land lines and cellphones. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.

Several state House and Senate leaders have praised the work of Oshiro and Bruce Coppa, Abercrombie's chief of staff, for stabilizing the administration after a staff shake-up and other turmoil during a difficult first year.

House Minority Leader Gene Ward (R, Kalama Valley-Hawaii Kai) said Abercrombie is under more public scrutiny as governor than he was as a congressman for two decades in Washington, D.C.

"We're kind of in a fishbowl in the political arena, and he's getting the strict scrutiny," Ward said. "That doesn't say he can't pull out of that, but it says, ‘Hey, there's some feedback that he probably needs to pay serious attention to.'"

In addition to the soft ratings among traditional Demo­crats and union voters, Abercrombie has also alienated environmentalists and progressives because of his support for fast-tracking state development projects to help economic recovery.

State Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R, Kailua-Kaneohe), a leading voice on environmental protection, said Abercrombie has not provided adequate vision, particularly on issues such as renewable energy.

"So I think maybe people are discouraged," she said.

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MalamaKaAina wrote:
A New Day in Hawaii begins when Abercrombie resigns!
on October 30,2012 | 01:37AM
Larry01 wrote:
Heard you the first hundred times.
on October 30,2012 | 08:02AM
OldDiver wrote:
Abercrombie inherited a $1.2 billion budget from Linda Lingle which he fixed with the help of the State Legislature. The State is still reeling from the absence of $1 billion wall street gamble Lingle took on wall street. The billion is still tied up on wall street and who knows if we will see any of it back. Abercrombie took over a budget mess like President Obama did. He will need time to fix it.
on October 30,2012 | 08:25AM
nalogirl wrote:
Give me a break. Blame, blame, blame!! I wish someone would take responsibility. This says it all "He's been quieter since and his numbers have gone up." It sure would be nice to have press conferences instead of PR people or email responses. Can't wait until this man is out of office.
on October 30,2012 | 09:22AM
OldDiver wrote:
Heh. typical rant from the right. Wants us to forget about the huge budget hole Lingle left Abercrombie. less than two years ago.
on October 30,2012 | 09:27AM
9ronboz wrote:
There you go again. Typical liberal stratics
on October 30,2012 | 11:42AM
wiliki wrote:
Nope... it's the truth. Republicans like to call it something else. They're in fantasy land.
on October 30,2012 | 04:09PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
OldDriver you are wrong, wrong and wrong again......go find a meeting!
on October 30,2012 | 01:03PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Slightly fewer voters voice approval of Abercrombie

Was 9, now 7.

on October 30,2012 | 11:57AM
sparkyzane wrote:
The govenor begins the budgetary process by proposing how much to spend and on what. The legislature then adds or subtracts and paases a final budget. You saying it's all Lingle's fault is just not true and very simplistic. Also the bonds held by the state that you mentioned may increase or decrease in value opposite of what interest rates do but if the state holds them to maturity then most likely they will return their value.
on October 30,2012 | 12:16PM
MalamaKaAina wrote:
OldDriver you are wrong, wrong, and wrong again........go find a meeting!
on October 30,2012 | 01:04PM
hikine wrote:
Lingle didn't control the budget, the DEMOCRAPIC House did. The House gives the Governor money to spend, so don't give your holier than thou Republican blame. The Democraps wanted to embarrass Lingle with low budget but she came through, and backfired! Abercrombie likes to shoot with his mouth instead of his mind.
on October 31,2012 | 01:09AM
peanutgallery wrote:
Excuse me? What the heck did everyone expect form a progressive dem like Neil? Hes 'a product of the red diaper doper gang. Bigger government, more taxes. The folks who are getting free stuff, don't like the folks who are paying for the free stuff, because the folks who are paying for the free stuff can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff. The folks who are paying for the free stuff want the free stuff to stop, and the folks who are getting the free stuff want even more free stuff on top of the free stuff they are already getting! This is the philosophyophy, and it dooms the country to fail. It is Obama's method.
on October 30,2012 | 02:22AM
nalogirl wrote:
Exactly! Abercrombie has given money to the people that don't work and taxed the people that do. He has made improvements to public housing but has done nothing for the working people. Same goes for Obama, there are more people on the dole than ver and those epeople are the ones that want him in so they can continue to get FREE stiff.
on October 30,2012 | 09:26AM
wiliki wrote:
Baloney.... he's made progress on labor negotiation and handling the shortfall in govt revenues created by Lingle.
on October 30,2012 | 04:10PM
loquaciousone wrote:
Neil Abercrombie doesn't have much approval ratings from his own staff who keep the revolving door swinging in his office. How can he expect much approval from the public who see him as sitting in his ivory tower mindless of the public's right to know?
on October 30,2012 | 03:55AM
allie wrote:
on October 30,2012 | 07:48AM
Kawipoo wrote:
You can't elect a troll to do a man's job. It should be incorporated into the Hawaii State Constitution.
on October 30,2012 | 04:22AM
whs1966 wrote:
The governor's low approval rating is due more to HOW he has done what he has done as it is WHAT he has done. Here's a guy who, as SA columnist Shapiro describes it, who believes he can listen while his lips are moving. In short (pun intended), he believes that he's the only one who has anything intelligent to say. He is the epitome of arrogance. Oh, yes, when he exercises at the YMCA, his two bodyguards stand by to make sure none of his subjects approach him.
on October 30,2012 | 04:40AM
allie wrote:
He talks too much. He needs to listen more.
on October 30,2012 | 07:48AM
turbolink wrote:
You also should talk less and listen more.
on October 30,2012 | 03:45PM
wiliki wrote:
Allie misses a lot of Abercrombies message.
on October 30,2012 | 04:12PM
suhimika3126 wrote:
Governor, after telling friends to vote for you, I am ashamed to have backed you up!! Hawaii is a state and not your kingdom. You are elected by the people of Hawaii and you must do right by them. Shape up or I guess you are not going for that second term (or you shouldn't).
on October 30,2012 | 05:16AM
boshio wrote:
Lighten up, he does well with a shovel in his hand at photo shoots and free lunches.
on October 30,2012 | 07:23AM
loquaciousone wrote:
I was there but I couldn't see him because a bunch of kids from some elementary school was standing in front of me.
on October 30,2012 | 07:36AM
rainbow4u wrote:
Worst ever
on October 30,2012 | 05:19AM
firewizard wrote:
his odd antics, strange speeches and occasional rants prove to me at least that he is in the early stages of either alzheimers or dementia. he needs more medication and retirement.
on October 30,2012 | 05:22AM
loquaciousone wrote:
It's more like tri-polar. No medication are available for that yet.
on October 30,2012 | 07:37AM
dlg808 wrote:
Too much Choom Gang and BS. Sound familiar ?
on October 30,2012 | 05:30AM
wiliki wrote:
You got him mixed with Obama....
on October 30,2012 | 04:13PM
palani wrote:
All of these Ward Research polls are highly suspect, especially the ones showing huge leads for Hirono and Caldwell. On July 30, the Star-Advertiser's Ward Research poll touted a 10 point lead for Mufi Hannemann over Tulsi Gabbard. Only 15 days later, Gabbard won the primary by a 21 point margin. That's an unbelievable 31 point swing. So much for the credibility of Ward Research!

Bottom line, don't despair. There's still hope for Hawaii.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/newspremium/20120730__Hannemann_shows__a_healthy_margin__over_his_opponent.html?id=164234146 http://www.staradvertiser.com/elections/2012ElectionsBreakingNews/165887106.html

on October 30,2012 | 06:43AM
Descartes22 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on October 30,2012 | 09:13AM
false wrote:
Could it have been a play to discourage voters?
on October 30,2012 | 09:43AM
allie wrote:
on October 30,2012 | 02:51PM
McCully wrote:
His approval rating doesn't surprise me. He been a joke from day one. Just ask all his appointees who left in his two years.
on October 30,2012 | 07:04AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Pushing the PLDC when everybody in the State is against it is just one reason for a lousy rating.
on October 30,2012 | 07:31AM
Publicbraddah wrote:
Not sure what Neil has done so far but I do know repairing or redoing the pock marked freeways is not one of them. That stretch going west bound from the Punahou on ramp to the H1 off ramp is really pathetic. I'd prefer they redo instead of filling potholes because those potholes will reappear after a big rain.
on October 30,2012 | 07:09AM
Descartes22 wrote:
This comment has been deleted.
on October 30,2012 | 07:20AM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
Maybe he could appoint an "Approval Czar" at $100,000 a year to coordinate public opinion among the various State and City agencies. They could come up with a report after a year or two and then go back to sleep. It's his style.
on October 30,2012 | 07:33AM
allie wrote:
on October 30,2012 | 07:49AM
Allenk wrote:
What about the Pro Bowl?
on October 30,2012 | 09:45AM
wiliki wrote:
Wrong... his biggest accomplishment is the great teamwork that he has with the legislature. I don't understand the term "skirting" which there are environmental procedures setup under the new law.
on October 30,2012 | 04:20PM
Maneki_Neko wrote:
These numbers do not include all the staff members who bailed out. That's like almost 10% of the population.
on October 30,2012 | 07:30AM
loquaciousone wrote:
That was last month. One more left last week.
on October 30,2012 | 07:38AM
nonpolitic wrote:
Dan Boylan is right, Neil's mouth has never seen a foot it didn't want to suck on.
on October 30,2012 | 08:13AM
ready2go wrote:
Tough to be a public servant eh? Anyone who's in office and even those who were, are forever targets. Only in America!
on October 30,2012 | 08:15AM
Pacej001 wrote:
True, but it's pretty clear Neil has been busy since day one painting bulls eyes on himself. The governor can't be as arrogant and dismissive of voters, treating them more like subjects, and expect rose petals to be thrown at his feet.
on October 30,2012 | 10:19AM
haleiwalad1 wrote:
This is an uncompleted story. It gives no context. Was the drop statistically significant? How does this compare to previous administrations at the same time in their terms? etc, etc. Does the media have an agenda they are attempting to put forward? Most readers of this paper are like a herd of sheep and the paper seems to be 'preaching to the choir.' If the paper's reporting was complete, it might serve a legitimate purpose in the community, instead of portending what seems to be a corporate agenda.
on October 30,2012 | 08:18AM
bigfish wrote:
Democratic? I have lost more civil liberties and rights under the penguins demise. He has given state agencies unprecedented powers with no supervision. What am I talking about? Wait until you receive a DLNR RULE violation and are drug thru their kangaroo court.. No judge no jury and you get a civil penalty. Who thought that one up?
on October 30,2012 | 08:49AM
LanaUlulani wrote:

Dictator Abercrombie is a con artist just like Dictator Obama. Dictator Abercrombie took his oath at the Kalākaua CORONATION Pavilion thus purporting to be ali'i. A slap to the face of HAWAIIANS!

Then he signed ACT 55 into law thus trying to STEAL more from Hawaiians.

Shame, shame!

on October 30,2012 | 09:30AM
false wrote:
The fas tracking through the PDLC initiative is going to hurt the Gov. People are just seeing it to play with the developers to set him self up for reelection. He won't alienate the unions etc. Koppa has a lot of influence with this PDLC thing since he comes from construction/development. Just have to wait and see where this all goes. Could be good or could be a disaster.
on October 30,2012 | 09:41AM
jankenpo wrote:
It's the simple things that count. Like fix the gd roads that the state is responsible for.....like the Pali, Like Like and Kalanianaole just to name a few. All the things we touch and feel everyday. Carlisle neglected the roads and now he is out! The gov is going 'down' the same path. NEXT!!!
on October 30,2012 | 11:28AM
HOSSANA wrote:
Abercrumbie made lots of noise with his pronouncement that we should all be in the same canoe. Yeah, right....He was willing to sacrifice his State Pension but he doesn't tell people about his Federal Pension. Guess which Pension gives him more security and benefits. When he's willing to be truthful and not speak with fork tongue and all those around him stop spinning lies and stories and quit blaming others and take responsibility for their actions, then and only then will he enjoy credibility in the eyes of the people.
on October 30,2012 | 11:20PM
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