Rep. Mazie Hirono's campaign for U.S. Senate says a Civil Beat poll that shows her neck-and-neck with Democratic opponent Ed Case has an “obvious conflict of interest.”
"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," said Hirono Campaign Manager Betsy Lin in a press release. “Our own polling of actual likely Democratic primary voters shows Ed Case losing to Mazie Hirono by eighteen points.”
Civil Beat Editor and General Manager John Temple said that the news organization stands by the integrity of its poll.
“Civil Beat has worked with Merriman River Group since it began polling in Hawaii in 2010, long before it conducted a single poll for Ed Case,” Temple told DC808. “Merriman is not doing any work for the Case campaign. It’s quite common in our experience for candidates who don’t like poll results to attack the pollster, as the Hirono campaign is doing in this case. Mufi Hannemann did the same thing when Civil Beat showed him losing badly to Neil Abercrombie. We know how that turned out. We stand by the integrity of our poll.”
For a refresher in recent campaign history, check out how Hannemann responded to a Civil Beat poll that showed him getting trounced by Neil Abercrombie in the 2010 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Read more about just how accurate that poll turned out to be.