Analysts examine poll as Ige moves ahead of Abercrombie in race for governor

Published On: Aug 06 2014 01:40:58 AM HST   Updated On: Jun 12 2014 07:53:35 PM HST

A dramatic turnaround in the governor's race Thursday night: the incumbent could be the underdog.

KITV partners at Civil Beat released a new poll showing Sen. David Ige with a double-digit lead over Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

"We were caught a little taken aback," Civil Beat chief political reporter Chad Blair said.

Blair said Civil Beat pollsters counted a second time -- first in May and again one week ago -- to make sure their numbers matched, and they did.

Civil Beat polled 1,077 registered voters, with 727 saying they will likely vote Democratic.

Forty-eight percent of the voters backed Ige, with 37 percent picking Abercrombie. Fifteen percent were undecided.

"This is really being propelled much more by an anti-Abercrombie vote than you would expect, because David Ige has not, until recently, campaigned much or hard," KITV political analyst Neal Milner said.

The latest poll, taken June 7-9, showed 69 percent of those voters said they would vote for Ige -- not because of his own merits but because it means a vote against Abercrombie.

"You have to operate with the pessimistic assumption that this could all go down the tubes near the end," Milner said.

It's a warning for Ige while his numbers are on the uptick.

When he goes up against likely contenders from other parties, Republican Duke Aiona comes out on top with 31 percent of the vote. Ige tallies 30 percent, and independent Mufi Hanneman trails with 17 percent.

Abercrombie fared worse. Aiona remained the top pick with 33 percent to Abercrombie's 27 percent and Hannemann taking 17 percent.

But there's a long way to go.

"No one should underestimate Neil Abercrombie," Blair said. "He's got large name recognition. The economy is doing well, no major scandals. The thing is people just don't seem to be too crazy about him as governor."

"You have to assume your support is soft here, that the governor's got things he can do and resources that he has that can de-romanticize this election," Milner said.

Check out for more insight as they break down the race even further.

Look for details on the lieutenant governor's race Friday on KITV and

Civil Beat poll on Hawaii race for governor

Click here for a closer look at the results of the poll.


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