Rep. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) holds a strong lead over both her primary and general-election challengers, according to a new poll from Ward Research.
Hirono leads former Rep. Ed Case (D-Hawaii) by 56 percent to 36 percent in the primary, and leads former Gov. Linda Lingle (R) in the general election by 57 percent to 37 percent, according to the nonpartisan poll.
Both Case and Hirono have already been on television running advertisements. Hirono is the favorite of the Democratic establishment both in Hawaii and in Washington: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is backing her over Case, and most of Hawaii's Democratic officials are either privately or publicly in her corner. Case angered many of them when he nearly beat Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) in a 2006 primary.
Lingle has been bringing in a ton of money and Republicans hope she can make this a competitive race. But if the poll is correct, Hirono starts off the race as the prohibitive favorite.
The poll included 771 registered voters with an oversample of 599 Democrats, and was conducted from Jan. 26 to Feb. 5. The margin of error for the primary ballot test is plus or minus four percentage points, while the margin of error for the general election is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.