Republicans on the national level are taking advantage of the intraparty blood-letting to bolster the chances of GOP candidate James "Duke" Aiona. Aiona, you'll recall, was lieutenant governor under former Gov. Linda Lingle, a Maui Republican who served two terms ending in 2010.
The RNC might not be that far off base. The latest poll, released by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today, shows Aiona's favorability at 63 percent, the highest of any candidate tested in the poll, up from 58 percent in February. Fifty-one percent of traditional Democrats view him positively.
"No governor has lost re-election since William Quinn, a Republican, in 1962, so Ige could be on the cusp of a historic upset on Saturday," the Star-Advertiser said.
The Hawaii Poll, conducted by Ward Research Inc., for the Star-Advertiser and Hawaii News Now, follows a Civil Beat poll last week with similar results.
Civil Beat found 51 percent of those who said they will vote in the Democratic primary said they would vote for Ige, compared with 41 percent for Abercrombie. Just 8 percent said they are undecided.
Party leaders traditionally push for unity at a huge Hilo rally the night before the primary, and work toward reconciliation at a breakfast the day after.
They'll certainly have their work cut out for them this year, and it will be interesting to see -- no matter who emerges victor -- how quickly the wounds can be salved during the long swim to the Nov. 4 general election.