New poll shows favor for Kahele in Gabbard's district
Two out of three Democratic primary voters in Hawaii's 2nd Congressional District say U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard should give up her presidential aspirations, according to a new survey released Tuesday by Public Policy Polling.
The poll also found that at least half of the voters in Gabbard's district would prefer someone else in her House seat.
While accurate polling is notoriously difficult in Hawaii, neither of those numbers spell good news for Gabbard, someone who once was considered one of the Aloha State's most popular politicians.
According to Public Policy Polling, the survey was conducted via phone from Sept. 27-29 and included 990 Democratic voters. The margin of error is 3.1%.
Gabbard tied for third in her district among Democratic presidential contenders.
The survey found U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren led all candidates with 25% of the voter share in the district with former Vice President Joe Biden trailing with 22%. Gabbard and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders tied with 13% support among those polled.
Gabbard excelled with voters who supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election with 26% saying they would vote for her over the other Democratic candidates. The next closest was Biden with 15%.
Forty percent of Trump voters said they would prefer a candidate not included in the poll.
One of the more concerning numbers for Gabbard is that 50% of Democratic primary voters said they would prefer to vote for someone else in the upcoming CD2 election.
Although Gabbard has yet to declare whether she'll seek another term in the House should her presidential bid fail, state Sen. Kai Kahele has already announced his candidacy.
In a head-to-head primary match-up, the poll found voters still preferred Gabbard over Kahele 48% to 26% with 27% still undecided.
Although that gives Gabbard with a 22-point cushion, it does indicate that a race between her and Kahele — who's already received the endorsement of three former governors — would be tighter than any she's faced since first being elected to Congress in 2012.
Gabbard beat her last Democratic primary opponent, Sherry Alu Campagna, 76% to 11%.
Kahele told Civil Beat that his campaign was not affiliated with the Public Policy Polling survey, but that it's clear to him voters in the district want a change. More than anything, he said, they want someone who will pay attention to the needs of the district.
"The poll is reflective of what I've been hearing, feeling and experiencing throughout the second congressional district," Kahele said. "They want full-time representation."