`Big Mo’

January 30th, 2012

Former congressman Ed Case issued a fundraising appeal on Monday touting the results of a new poll that shows him in a close race with U.S. Rep. Mazie Hirono in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.

The automated telephone poll, by Civil Beat and the Merriman River Group, had Case up on Hirono 41 percent to 39 percent. The margin of error was 2.7 percentage points. The poll was taken among 1,358 likely voters on Jan. 18 and Jan. 19.

Case, who trails Hirono in fundraising and endorsements, titled his appeal “The Big Mo”:

What it all means is that as voters think through the choice between me and Mazie, about who can really do the job for us in the Senate over the next generation, we are gaining support and momentum. All of the DC/mainland special interest/PAC money and endorsements flooding her campaign are not changing that.

Betsy Lin, Hirono’s campaign manager, noted that Merriman River Group has polled for Case.

It’s troubling Civil Beat’s automated poll is conducted by the very same pollster who also conducts polls directly for Ed Case’s Senate campaign, despite the obvious conflict of interest this poses. Our own polling of actual likely Democratic primary voters shows Ed Case losing to Mazie Hirono by eighteen points — and given Mazie’s record in opposing George W. Bush’s Iraq War and opposing Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthy, this isn’t a surprise.

*Update: On Tuesday, it was former Gov. Linda Lingle’s campaign that was critical of the poll, which showed the Republican trailing both Case and Hirono in hypothetical general election match-ups.

From retired Maj. Gen. Robert G.F. Lee, Lingle’s campaign manager:

The survey released today by Civil Beat does not line up with our own polling and appears to be slanted to the Democrat candidates. Even the Democrat Senate Congressional Committee (DSCC) has publicly dismissed the methodology of the automatic phone survey, calling it ‘troubling.’ With Gov. Lingle entering the U.S. Senate race just 113 days ago, the outpouring of support she has received statewide has been overwhelming. We know this is going to be a long, challenging race. Gov. Lingle will remain focused on working hard every day to earn the votes of the people of Hawaii by putting ‘people first’ and ensuring this election stays focused on the key issues that families in our state are faced with every day.

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