A new PPP survey of Democratic primary voters in Tulsi Gabbard’s Congressional district, Hawaii’s 2nd, finds that her constituents think she should drop out of the race and that she’s likely to have trouble winning nomination for another term in the House next year.
60% of primary voters think Gabbard should drop out, compared to only 28% who think she should continue moving forward with her campaign. Gabbard is tied for third in the Democratic contest in her district. Elizabeth Warren leads the way with 25% to 22% for Joe Biden. Gabbard is tied with Bernie Sanders at 13%, with all of the rest of the candidates in single digits- Pete Buttigieg and Andrew Yang each get 5%, Kamala Harris is at 3%, and Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke each come in at 1%. 11% say that they are undecided or that they would prefer one of the other candidates.
Hawaii has open primaries and given the hopelessness for Republicans of electing their own candidates to most posts in the state, a lot of conservative leaning voters participate in the Democratic primary because it’s their best chance to influence who their elected officials will be. Trump voters are one segment of the Democratic primary electorate that Gabbard is leading- she gets 26% with them to 15% for Joe Biden with nobody else in double digits.
Beyond doing poorly in her home district in the Presidential race, it looks like Gabbard will have trouble if she runs for reelection to the House next year. 50% of Democratic primary voters in the district say they would generally prefer to vote for someone else, compared to just 38% who say they want to nominate Gabbard for another term. Gabbard does lead Kai Kahele 48-26 in a named primary match up, but incumbents who start out below 50% in a primary contest tend to have a pretty hard time winning nomination again. Gabbard’s also under 50% with Democratic primary voters when it comes to her approval rating- 44% approve and 34% disapprove.
Besides the Gabbard angle, the Hawaii results further speak to the already well known racial and generational gaps within the Democratic primary electorate. Among white voters Warren dominates the race with 38% to 16% for Biden and 11% for Sanders and Gabbard. But among non-white voters, Biden has the advantage with 26% to 19% for Warren, 14% for Sanders, and 13% for Gabbard. Among seniors Biden has the advantage with 34% to 28% for Warren with no one else in double digits. But among voters under 45 Biden gets just 12% with Warren (27%), Sanders (26%), and Gabbard (13%) all outpacing him.
Gabbard has done well in her district in the past but a Presidential campaign can bring a whole different level of attention and notoriety and these results suggest that Gabbard’s candidacy has hurt her standing quite a bit at home.
Full results here