City's rail rendering
City’s rail rendering

BY CLIFF SLATER – Sunday’s Star Advertiser poll conducted by Ward Research that said the public now favors the Honolulu rail project is highly doubtful:

Take the rail questions that were asked:

  • A majority of those polled, 87/10, agree that, “the rail project will end up costing a lot more than is currently estimated.
  • A majority, 50/47, disagree that the “jobs created will boost the economy so much that the cost of the project will be worth it.”
  • A majority, 48/47 disagree with the statement that, “the rail system will result in a noticeable reduction in traffic.”
  • A majority, 50/45, agree that, “something needs to be done about traffic, but an enhanced bus system is a better choice than rail.”

How then does the following make sense:

  • A majority agree, 50/45, that, “work should proceed on O‘ahu’s rail system.”

Either the voters are nuts, or the poll is wrong in some way.

Now, let’s look at two Star Advertiser stories, one from July 30 last, and the other, 15 days later, from August 13.

On July 30, the Star Advertiser wrote, “Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann holds a 43 percent-to-33 percent lead over City Councilwoman Tulsi Gabbard in the Democratic primary for the U.S. House 2nd District seat, the latest [Ward Research] Poll shows.”

Only 15 days later, the Star Advertiser wrote, “Gabbard, the 31-year-old war veteran, had about 55 percent of the vote. Hannemann trailed with about 34 percent of the vote with nearly all the votes counted.”

From being 10 percent behind in the poll, Gabbard won the race 15 days later by 21 percent.

The Star Advertiser management should realize that poll results favoring the projects, policieis and candidates that the Star Advertiser favors, but which don’t get validated in elections, has a tendency to make us, as readers and customers, a trifle cynical.