Friday, October 22, 2004
Yahoo! News - Neglected Hawaii Emerges As Swing State:
"The only statewide media poll, more than two months ago, showed Kerry leading Bush, 48-41. Private polling reviewed by strategists for both Kerry and Bush more recently suggests the race is still that close.
Hawaii may not be a big-vote, difference-making tossup state like Ohio, Florida and Pennsylvania, but the race is remarkable in a state Democrat Al Gore won by 20 percentage points in 2000 - and one that has been solid blue on most election maps. Democratic strategists in Washington privately admit they have neglected Hawaii, but no more.
They have dispatched political operatives to shore up Kerry's support and believe the race is now about as close as Washington state and Oregon, two long-standing battlegrounds that both parties think are leaning toward Kerry. Open campaigning for the presidency is just getting started in the islands. The first major rally for Kerry and Sen. John Edwards was Friday near the state Capitol.
Campaign signs for Bush and vice presidential candidate Dick Cheney are just now popping up along roadsides. Local candidates in leis line major thoroughfares and freeway entrances with their own signs in Hawaii's colorful honk-and-wave style of campaigning. But during the campaign no major national political figure, much less Bush or Kerry, has set foot in the state, 4,800 miles from Washington.
'They're going to rely on us to carry the election here,' said Republican Gov. Linda Lingle. Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon are the only GOP presidential candidates ever to win Hawaii's vote. They, like Bush, were running for second terms. Republicans say Bush has been helped by cable television ads running in the islands."
Yahoo! News - Neglected Hawaii Emerges As Swing State