comscore Poll shows residents are split on state’s travel ban suit against Trump | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Poll shows residents are split on state’s travel ban suit against Trump

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    Hawaii Attorney General Douglas Chin speaks outside a federal court in Honolulu last month on President Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Despite assertions of widespread consensus, Hawaii appears to be divided over whether the state should be spending money challenging President Donald Trump’s revised ban on travel to the United States by individuals from certain countries.

The latest Hawaii Poll found that a slim majority of respondents — 51 percent — feel it’s a good idea for Hawaii to spend $150,000 to fund its lawsuit against the ban, while 48 percent do not think it’s a good idea and 1 percent didn’t know or refused to answer.

The results, compiled from a survey taken over six days ending April 8, don’t exactly back up statements by state Attorney General Douglas Chin that a vast majority of Hawaii residents support the state’s legal challenge.

Contacted following the poll, however, Chin said he wasn’t surprised.

“Spending tax dollars is always an important concern,” he said in a statement. “Under the contract the state will not pay more than $150,000 and there are no plans to increase that.”

The case is on appeal after U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson sided with the state’s claims that the travel ban would hurt Hawaii’s small Muslim population as well as its tourism industry and educational institutions.

The travel ban created a nationwide suspension of new visas for those traveling from six Muslim-majority countries and blocked the U.S. refugee program.

To help make the case in court, Chin turned to a high-priced Washington, D.C., law firm where the top partner hourly billing rate is reportedly $1,200 or more, and lead litigator Neal Katyal is a former acting solicitor general of the United States.

Chin said the firm, Hogan Lovells, voluntarily cut its rates in half.

At the outset of the lawsuit, Chin said his own mail was running 80 percent positive and 20 percent against the effort.

“Most people get it,” he said at the time. “They get that this is an argument that we just can’t stand silent on.”

The Hawaii Poll was conducted by Ward Research Inc. on cellphones and landlines and included 401 likely primary voters on Oahu. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

A public poll on the issue of the Trump travel ban by Honolulu Star-Advertiser on Scribd

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