Thursday, July 29, 2010

Muskogee Politico's Analysis of the Primary Results

  • Governor
    • Republican: Mary Fallin (54.79%)
Mary Fallin was the heavy favorite from the very beginning, and defeated Randy Brogdon by 15%. Brogdon was able to put up a decent challenge (especially considering that pre-election polls had him down by 40%), but Fallin's statewide name recognition and massive fundraising advantage won out. Click here to view a map of the results.

Fallin enters the general election as the leader, with a Rasmussen poll showing her leading 57%-36% over Democrat nominee Jari Askins.
    • Democrat: Jari Askins (50.28%)
Jari Askins won in an extremely close and contested Democrat primary, defying the polls that showed Drew Edmondson with a commanding double-digit lead. This map shows that Askins blew Edmondson out in western Oklahoma, kept a slim lead in central Oklahoma, and made enough inroads in eastern Oklahoma to win.

To illustrate just how close this primary was, Askins won by less than 0.67 votes per precinct.

Askins strength is in western Oklahoma, but western Oklahoma has trended very Republican in recent years. Mary Fallin will be strong in central Oklahoma, and Askins will do well in heavily Democratic eastern Oklahoma. Southern Oklahoma and the Tulsa area may be the key in the general election, but Mary Fallin still has the edge.
  • Lieutenant Governor
    • Republican: Todd Lamb (66.84%) 
Todd Lamb cruised to victory in a crowded primary. Lamb has a tremendous fundraising advantage, and also ran one of the best campaign ads I've ever seen.

Kenneth Corn, the lone Democrat in the race, spent a lot of his funds in the past quarter (even though he had no primary opponent), so Lamb should still have more money than Corn. Kenneth Corn is one of the Democrats strongest candidates this election, but Lamb has an impressive background, and is very energetic. Advantage: Lamb.
    • Attorney General
      • Republican: Scott Pruitt (56.05%) 
    Scott Pruitt capitalized on his name recognition from the 2006 Lieutenant Governor's race, where he spent over one million dollars but lost in the runoff to Todd Hiett (who lost to Jari Askins). Ryan Leonard ran a robust campaign, but going negative at the end of the campaign probably hurt him more than it helped.

    Jim Priest is the Democrat nominee, but even Drew Edmondson has said that the Republican nominee is going to win fairly easily.
      • State Auditor and Inspector
        • Republican: Gary Jones (69.57%)
      Gary Jones easily defeated David Hanigar, and is now the GOP nominee for Auditor for the third time.

      Democrat Steve Burrage was appointed by Governor Henry after the previous Auditor (Jeff McMahan) went to jail for bribery and corruption charges (which were uncovered by Jones, McMahan's 2002 and 2006 opponent), and as such has never been on the ballot. SoonerPoll found in June that Jones led Burrage by 20 points.

      While Burrage has a hefty campaign warchest, the climate this year in Oklahoma is not friendly to Democrats, and this could be the time Gary Jones finally wins.
        • State Treasurer
          • Republican: Ken Miller (63.04%)
        Miller coasted to victory over Owen Laughlin, and is considered a shoo-in, as the Democrat candidate literally has no campaign.
          • State Superintendent of Public Instruction
            • Republican: Janet Barresi (62.73%)
            • Democrat: Susan Paddack (73.35%)
            Both party nominees cruised to large victories over opponents who did little campaigning.

            This could prove to be the closest race in November, as both candidates are well funded.
              • Commissioner of Labor
                • Republican: Mark Costello (57.06%)
              Mark Costello dropped over $150,000 of his own money into this race, which enabled him to hit the airwaves with his now-infamous jingle. Jason Reese just didn't have the funds to compete.

              Incumbent Labor Commissioner Lloyd Fields will face an uphill battle, due to the climate and the fact that Costello can afford to put more money into his campaign. At the last report, Fields has less than $10,000 in his account.
              • Insurance Commissioner
                • Republican: John Crawford (41.67%) and John Doak (39.14%) -- runoff
              In a shocker of the night, former Insurance Commissioner John Crawford emerged with the lead, and John Doak took second to make the runoff. Doak had raised more money than all the other candidates combined, and was running ads across the state. Crawford also was running televisions ads, recycled from his failed 1998 reelection run.

              The problem with the down-ballot races like this is that the public is focused on the "big" races, like Governor and Congress, and candidates have a harder time raising money. Thus, it's more difficult for the candidates to educate the voters.

              The Democrat's best chance at holding a statewide office, as incumbent commissioner Kim Holland currently has nearly $300,000 in her campaign account. Holland was a 2008 presidential delegate for Barack Obama, though, and the GOP nominee is sure to hammer her for that.
              • Corporation Commissioner
                • Republican: Dana Murphy (69.21%) -- elected, no opponent in November
              Dana Murphy batted aside a nearly non-existent campaign by her Republican opponent, and since no other candidate filed to run, has been reelected to her first full term. Murphy just finished a partial term (she was elected in 2008).

              • U.S. Senate
                • Republican: Tom Coburn (90.36%)
              Tom Coburn obliterated his two token challengers, and in the process racked up his highest vote percentage ever (by far).
                • Democrat: Jim Rogers (65.36%)
              Jim Rogers, a perennial candidate, defeated Mark Myles - the only Democrat candidate who did any campaigning whatsoever.

              Coburn was going to win big in November, regardless of whomever the Democrats nominated, but this will be a tremendous cakewalk.
                • U.S. House, District 1
                  • Republican: John Sullivan (62.07%)
                Sullivan cruised to victory over a crowded primary. The only surprise in this race was that Nathan Dahm came in third, behind Kenneth Rice.
                  • U.S. House, District 2
                    • Republican: Charles Thompson (33.57%) and Daniel Edmonds (28.31%) -- runoff 
                    In a crowded race, Charles Thompson and Daniel Edmonds made it into the GOP runoff. The surprise of the night was Dan Arnett receiving 15%, and finishing third - in front of Howard Houchen. Arnett spent the entire campaign going by "Dan", but placed his name on the ballot as "Daniel", which created some confusion, with two Daniel's being on the ballot. I would speculate that a good portion of the Arnett vote was actually intended for Edmonds.

                    Thompson sent out a mail piece that implied a non-existing endorsement by U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, which did affect some voters. Even so, Thompson only came in first because of his lead in Cherokee and Delaware counties.

                    This race could still go either way.

                      • Democrat: Dan Boren (75.56%)

                    Dan Boren easily defeated a challenge from far-left state senator Jim Wilson, who garnered support from disgruntled liberal Democrats (mainly in the metropolitan areas of the state), who consider Boren to be a "Democrat-In-Name-Only". Unfortunately for Wilson, his supporters don't live in the district, and therefore could not vote, hence his resounding defeat.

                    Boren spent over seven hundred thousand dollars in the primary.
                    • U.S. House, District 4
                      • Republican: Tom Cole (77.26%) -- re-elected, no opponent in November 
                    Tom Cole was easily reelected over RJ Harris. Harris waged an intense online campaign, but was unable to translate that into votes.
                    • U.S. House, District 5
                      • Republican: James Lankford (33.58%) and Kevin Calvey (32.48%) -- runoff
                    Unlike RJ Harris, James Lankford conducted a successful online and ground campaign, and surged into first place, shocking the Washington pundits. Kevin Calvey had all of the group endorsements (such as Club for Growth, Gun Owners of America, ACU), in addition to loaning his campaign $250,000, but Lankford's energetic campaign slipped on by.

                    The momentum is with James Lankford in this runoff.
                      • Democrat: Billy Coyle (56.83%)
                    Billy Coyle defeated Tom Goodman in the Democrat primary, but this seat is hard for a Democrat to win.


                      1. Great overview of the primaries, Jamison. What are your predictions on the turnout for the runoff election?

                        I plan to vote for Okie-Doak and Daniel Edmonds. Both are great candidates who would represent us well. Their campaigns have been positive and they both seem to have fun on the campaign trail.

                      2. Hey, sorry my brother was born with the name "Daniel" which apparently caused some confusion in this race. So if Boren wins in the fall, does that mean it's only because he stole votes from Edmonds?

                        Give the voters some credit. Most remember only the candidates' last names.

                      3. On a more positive note, thanks for referring to my jingle as "now famous." I got another one in the works for Okie Doak at this very moment. :)

                      4. Will, I believe that the confusion is a possibility because your brother spent a year-and-a-half campaigning as 'Dan' while Edmonds spent the time campaigning as 'Daniel.' Many of us found it incredibly funny that your brother wanted his name to appear as 'Daniel' on the ballot instead of his preferred 'Dan.' I personallly heard your brother refer to the 'three Dans in the race' several times.

                        This type of confusion isn't a possibility in November because the names will be distinct: 'Daniel Edmonds' or 'Dan Boren.'

                      5. JF-

                        I have to disagree with you on the Lamb ad. I hated it. I think it's all that's wrong with the political process. It was based in emotion, and he should have kept the family out.

                        Politicians need to decide whether their families are fair game or not. If you use the kids in your campaign ad, then you don't have any room to ask for privacy when they age and begin to have youthful indiscretions. Better to keep your family life private, period.

                        And finally, what do these two minor children know about political thought and philosophy? Why the heck should their opinion on the Lt. Gov. race matter to me? Are we supposed to believe that they've looked at the whole field of candidates and--surprise--my daddy's the best?

                        Sorry, I just thought the ad was bad form all the way around.

                      6. I did not see the Lamb ad on tv down here in the boonies, but I decided early that Todd Lamb was the best candidate on the Republican ballot, and will by far be the best candidate on the ballot in November.

                        Most of my neighbors will support the home town boy however, issues and background aside, but I will be working hard for Todd Lamb and the other down ticket candidates.

                        Bobbie McAuliffe


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