By Malia Zimmerman | Hawaii Reporter
HONOLULU — Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann, who is a candidate for the 1st Congressional District, is the target of an ongoing “push poll” campaign, his campaign said in an email Monday.
“Whatever their origins, they have one objective in mind: pose a negative question about a candidate, in this case Mufi, and ask you to agree or disagree. Because the questions tend to be skewed toward the negative and are full of half-truths, this seemingly innocent poll is, in fact, ‘pushing’ respondents toward a negative opinion of the candidate in question. But the results — especially when unfavorable to Mufi — will then be released as unbiased, legitimate poll results,” the email said.
Local polling companies have condemned push polls as unethical, and Hannemann’s team points out that the National Council on Public Polls, American Association for Public Opinion Research and American Association of Political Consultants also oppose push polls.
Among the poll questions asked of residents were:
- “Is Mufi too much of an ambitious politician?”
- “Does Mufi promise anything to get elected?”
- “Would it affect your decision if Mufi took too much credit for saving the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, which was due to Sen. Inouye and not Mufi?”
In April, former Gov. Benjamin Cayetano, a candidate for Honolulu mayor, and Honolulu City Council Member Tom Berg reported negative push polls targeting their campaigns.