Oklahoma: Fallin Has Comfortable Lead Heading Into Tuesday’s Gov. Primary

Republican Mary Fallin and Democrat Drew Edmondson held comfortable leads heading into the final week of their respective gubernatorial primary campaigns, according to an Oklahoma Poll of 755 likely voters conducted July 16-21.
Fallin led her chief Republican rival, state Sen. Randy Brogdon, by 38 percentage points; Edmondson pulled to a 49 percent to 33 percent lead on Lt. Gov. Jari Askins.
“In all the polling that’s been done, Askins has not been able to get more than about a third,” said Bill Shapard, president of SoonerPoll.com, which conducted the survey for the Tulsa World.
Edmondson and Askins were about 10 points apart in a January Oklahoma Poll, and other polling since then indicated an even closer race, especially after Edmondson, the current attorney general, advised the governor and Legislature against joining a lawsuit against federal health-care reform.
Fallin was the choice of 56 percent of the 340 Republicans surveyed, down 12 points from January.
Brogdon, however, did not benefit much from Fallin’s slippage. He picked up only two points, to 18 percent, while the share who said they were undecided rose six points to 22 percent.
Two lesser-known candidates not included in the January survey totaled about 4 percent in the latest poll.
“I think she’s (Fallin) pulled her own weight up the ladder and proven to be at least enthusiastic about her job,” said poll participant Lewis Maxwell of Sapulpa. “A lot of candidates run on fluff and pink air and don’t grasp what’s required of them.”
Maxwell said experience is important to him.
“Experience and performance,” he said. “I think a lot of experienced people do good in some areas and not good in others. Mary Fallin has been consistent and fair in her dealings and that’s all you can ask, to be fair and honest and even-handed.”
Marlene Carvel of Broken Arrow said she sees Edmondson as a candidate of strength and honesty.
“I’ve followed his career … and I found he’s a very upstanding and honest person.”
The other candidates, Carvel said, are “nice people but they don’t stand out like Drew does.”
Voters appear largely undecided about the “down ticket” primaries – those for statewide offices other than governor – on Tuesday’s ballot. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans surveyed had no opinion about the five-way GOP lieutenant governor primary and almost 40 percent were undecided about the GOP attorney general primary.
Still, the poll suggested clear favorites.
State Sen. Todd Lamb, the only GOP lieutenant governor candidate to raise enough money for television advertising, was at 22 percent, with state Rep. John Wright, his closest rival, at 5 percent.
In the attorney general race, former state Sen. Scott Pruitt led Ryan Leonard 40-23.
While Brogdon’s chances to upset Fallin on Tuesday appear dim, his campaign might have had some effect on the Fifth District congresswoman’s image. Her favorability rating among all voters has slipped five percentage points since January – and eight points among Republicans.
Fallin’s overall favorability rating of 49 percent now slightly trails Edmondson’s 51 percent, and her leads in hypothetical matchups with the two Democrats have dropped into the single digits, due mostly to Fallin support shifting into the undecided column.
Still, Fallin has a clear advantage. She leads Edmondson 47-39 and Askins 46-40 in those hypothetical matchups, and Oklahoma Republicans expect to benefit from an electorate loudly out of sorts with the Obama administration and national Democratic Party leadership.
But Paula Bray, a South Tulsa registered Republican, said Askins is her first choice, and Maxwell, the Fallin supporter, professed respect for what he called Edmondson’s tenacity.
“I vote for the person,” Maxwell said. “I voted for Ross Perot twice, and I voted against (George W.) Bush the second time.”
SoonerPoll.com conducted the scientific telephone survey July 16-21 of 755 likely voters in Oklahoma. The poll includes 384 Democrats, 340 Republicans and 31 independents.
The margin of error is plus or minus 3.57 percentage points.For questions asked only of Democrats, the margin of error is plus or minus 5 percentage points. For questions asked only of Republicans, the margin of error is plus or minus 5.31 percentage points.
Read more from Randy Krehbiel at TulsaWorld.com
Contribute to Republican Mary Fallin’s Gubernatorial Bid in Oklahoma

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