A new Democratic poll shows the party's nominee in an open House contest in Hawaii with a 7-point lead over the Republican.
State Rep. Mark Takai, a Democrat, led former Republican Rep. Charles Djou, 49 percent to 42 percent, according to the survey, which was conducted for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and obtained by CQ Roll Call.
Public polling has shown a closer race, either a dead heat or with Djou slightly leading Takai. Both are seeking to succeed Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, a Democrat who lost the primary for Senate earlier this year.
This week, American Action Network, a GOP group, went up with $300,000 on Honolulu broadcast attacking Takai's past comments on taxes. They hope Djou will upset the Aloha State's 1st District, which voted for President Barack Obama by a 41-percent margin in 2012.
The DCCC's poll, conducted by the Global Strategy Group, found a generic Democrat leading a generic Republican, 55 percent to 33 percent. It also showed President Barack Obama with a relatively high approval rating of 60 percent.
Djou served briefly in Congress in 2010. He won a special election in May 2010 to succeed Neil Abercrombie, who had resigned to run for governor. But in November, Djou lost to Hanabusa by a 9-point margin in a race for a full term.
Hawaii is notoriously difficult to poll, which could account for the different survey data. But the numbers suggest a competitive race in this strong Democratic district.
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