Lingle approval rating high

With about a month in office, Hawai`i governor Linda Lingle has a 71 percent approval rating among island residents, according to the latest Honolulu Advertiser Hawai`i Poll. Lingle is the first Republican governor in 40 years, and while poll vendor Ward Research didn’t have similar data to compare with previous governors, company president Rebecca Ward told the Honolulu Advertiser that the numbers are “quite high,” especially considering that Lingle won the election with 52 percent of the vote. The poll of 603 residents was conduced Jan. 25-30 and has a declared margin of error of 4 percent.

Fourteen percent of poll respondents said they disapproved of the approach Lingle is taking, and the remainder said they didn’t know or had no opinion.

In response to the poll, Lingle told the Honolulu Advertiser, “It’s good that people feel that we’re going in the right direction … It’s still early, of course, and maybe some of that is because we’re new.” The governor’s office quickly sent out a special edition of its weekly Governor’s Update e-mail newsletter, describing the published poll results as a “significant development.”

The Honolulu Advertiser poll also asked residents their opinion of their elected representatives in the Legislature. While only 47 percent approved of the Legislature as a whole, 61 percent approved of the approach their specific state senator or representative was taking.

Additional questions asked revolved around ranking important issues from education to business development and willingness to pay more taxes to address specific concerns. Detailed results from the poll are posted at the Honolulu Advertiser website.

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