A new poll shows both former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie and Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann ahead of Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona in hypothetical matchups for governor in November.
Abercrombie leads Aiona 58 percent to 32 percent, with 3 percent preferring other candidates and 6 percent undecided, according to Rasmussen Reports, an independent New Jersey-based pollster. Hannemann leads Aiona 52 percent to 30 percent, with 9 percent favoring other candidates and 9 percent undecided.
The automated telephone poll was taken last Thursday among 500 likely voters statewide. The margin of error is 4.5 percentage points. The results are consistent with a Rasmussen Reports poll in March.
The Hawaii Poll, taken for The Honolulu Advertiser in April, also found Abercrombie and Hannemann significantly ahead of Aiona.
The Aiona campaign’s own polling, however, shows the race closer.
Abercrombie and Hannemann are competing in the Democratic primary in September. Aiona is up against attorney and former state lawmaker John Carroll in the Republican primary.
Travis Taylor, communications director for the Aiona campaign, said he believes the race is tighter than the Rasmussen and Hawaii Poll results reflect. He described the Rasmussen poll as a "robo-call poll" because it was automated.
"As the lieutenant governor always says, the only poll that matters is the one on Election Day," he said in a statement. "Our voters want balance, integrity and accountability in state government, and Duke Aiona is the best candidate for the job."
Laurie Au, a spokeswoman for the Abercrombie campaign, said, "The polls reflect what we’ve been hearing out on the campaign trail, but we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Neil Abercrombie is listening to people every day and calling on them to participate in this election."
Carolyn Tanaka, a spokeswoman for the Hannemann campaign, also noted that the Rasmussen poll was automated and not conducted by live interviewers.
"Generally, polls like this are not as widely accepted as polls conducted with real people," she said. "That being said, it is well within the margin of error, and we are very encouraged by this."