(The voters are already casting their ballots in the May 1-22 Special Election and the Democrats are still fighting over who should be running. National Democrats think that all Hanabusa voters would automatically go to Case or vice-versa, but that’s not the way it works. There are two parties within the one party and a faction which loses by these Chicago-style tactics will not line up to vote for Case in November. Likewise Case voters will not line up to vote for Inouye’s Hawaii-style union thugs in November and many will cross over. Either way Charles Djou wins. Think “1986.”--AW)
ADV: Obama urges Hawaii to vote for a Democrat
"The bottom line is that with a split-Democratic vote, this congressional (seat) is more likely than not to fall into Republican hands," wrote Paul Harstad and Mike Kulisheck, of Harstad Strategic Research Inc., a Colorado based firm.
"Ed Case is the only candidate who can beat Charles Djou in this multi-candidate special election in May."
A national Democratic strategist, speaking privately, said the DNC poll and the memo reflected White House thinking about the campaign.
National Democrats have considered backing Case over Hanabusa and, behind-the-scenes, have urged Hanabusa's supporters to convince her to step aside.
The White House's political staff, according to a local Democratic strategist familiar with the conversations, has applied pressure to get U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye and U.S. Sen. Daniel Akaka — who have endorsed Hanabusa — to ease up on their support.
"That's not local style. You just don't do that," the local strategist said. "You might do that someplace else — throw your friends under the bus — but in Hawai'i you just don't do that."
Randy Perreira, the executive director of the Hawaii Government Employees Association, the state's largest public-sector labor union, said national Democrats are very concerned Djou might win.
Perreira, who was out sign-waving for Hanabusa yesterday afternoon, said labor is doing outreach to the estimated 30,000 AFL-CIO workers who live in the district.
"The message from the beginning is to vote Hanabusa, and we're not going to waver on that," he said.
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POLITICO: DNC poll: Only Case can win in Hawaii
The White House and top Democratic officials are circulating a new, private poll to suggest that only one of two Democrats splitting votes in a tightly contested Hawaii special election has a chance of winning the race.
The White House and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee see former Rep. Ed Case as a stronger candidate than State Senate President Colleen Hanabusa in a race that has divided Democrats. Hanabusa has the support of much of the state's establishment, including both senators and key labor unions.
"Our April 24 to 26 survey among 506 likely voters in Hawaii’s 1st CD special election shows Democrat Ed Case virtually tied with Republican Charles Djou, but leading on every dimension over Democrat Colleen Hanabusa," pollster Paul Harstad wrote in a memo accompanying the DNC survey, both obtained by POLITICO.
Harstad's poll is the latest weapon in intense efforts to push Hanabusa out of the race, or at least move some of her institutional supporters to Case's side.
"It is clear from this data -- as from all the public polling – that Ed Case is the best chance that our party has of holding on to that seat," said a senior White House official. "Given where Hanabusa is in al of this research, one has to be concerned about what the likely out come is if the dynamic remains unchanged."
There are "a lot of conversations" under way between Washington Democrats and Hanabusa's key supporters, the official said, though the official declined to make the White House's goal explicit.
Harstad's poll found Case the most popular candidate, with a 63% favorable rating to 55% for Republican Charles Djou and just 41% for Hanabusa.
The survey found Djou with 36% and Case with 34% to Hanabusa's 20%, a Republican lead that widened among the most likely voters and "illustrate[s] the vulnerability of losing this seat to the Republicans," Harstad wrote of the survey, which found Case more popular than Hanabusa even among women.
"The bottom line is that with a split-Democratic vote, this congressional is more likely than not to fall into Republican hands. Ed Case is the only candidate who can beat Charles Djou in this multi-candidate special election in May," Harstad wrote the memo.
If Djou does triumph in a three-way race, the poll suggests, the outcome won't be a verdict on Obama: His favorable rating is at a sky high 73% in the district, matched only by Senator Daniel Inouye, with 48% of the 506 likely voters surveyed in the district of his birth viewing him very favorably.
(And the contradiction between supporting Obama and supporting Inouye underlines the fact that there is no one Democratic Party in Hawaii. Obama’s Presidential win over Inouye’s objections marks the final success of the progressive wing over the old-boy wing. The progressives had been on the losing side of that fight since it was launched by the 1970 primary challenge of Tom Gill vs. Jack Burns. They have now won, but the two sides remain irretrievably divided.)
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FDL: HI-01: DNC, White House Trying To Chase Hanabusa From Race
Finally, there’s been credible speculation that polling undercounts the voters that would compose Hanabusa’s greatest support:
Cultural sensitivity when doing surveys in Hawaii is so nuanced that one pollster commented that polling there is more like Japan than in any other part of the United States.
First of all, many survey participants — particularly Japanese-Americans — will say they are undecided when they are questioned about their voting preferences.
“And that’s not true,” said Dan Boylan, a political science professor at the University of Hawaii. “They just won’t tell a person with a disembodied voice on the phone how they’re voting.”
Japanese-American women, especially, tend to be underrepresented in polling because they decline to answer — a circumstance that Boylan argued could give Hanabusa an edge in the race.
“Let’s say there is 15 to 20 [percent] undecided, I would cut that in half in favor of Hanabusa,” Boylan said.
(HFP: Those morons in DC don’t know that Dan Boylan’s son peter Boylan is Inouye’s spokesperson and they take his words as objective when they are just Inouye spin.)
All of this suggests that the White House and the DNC is overreacting to a meaningless, anomalous potential victory and trying to force a Lieber-Dem into the House.
UPDATE: Officially, Barack Obama has recorded a robocall in the district asking voters to “pick a Democrat” in the race. Obama’s ratings hover over 70% in the district, the place of his birth.
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Obama urges Hawaii voters to pick 'a Democrat' in special election
The president recorded a robocall for voters in the state's 1st congressional district, where Democratic primary voters are split between former Rep. Ed Case (D) and state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa (D).
"Aloha, this is President Obama on behalf of the Democratic Party. As you know, there's an election for Congress taking place, and your support for a Democrat is crucial for us to continue pushing forward our agenda for change," Obama says in the call, which was sponsored by the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
"I need a Democrat who will support my agenda in Congress," the president said. "It's crucial that you vote and you vote Democratic."
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TPM: DNC Poll Advocates Ed Case Amidst Split Dem Vote In HI-01 Special Election