July 28, 2018
Bill Shapard

DEAD HEAT: Mick Cornett and Kevin Stitt tied at 37.5 percent in Republican run-off poll

It couldn't get much tighter than this.

Both former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett and Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt received exactly 181 votes, or 37.5 percent, in the most recent run-off poll commissioned by News9/Newson6. The entire sample for the poll was 483 Republicans.

Interestingly, Stitt trailed Cornett in the Tulsa area by just over 7 points, 41.4 to 34.1 percent.  Cornett, along with outside groups supporting his campaign, have spent a considerable amount of time and money in Tulsa and the effort seems to be paying off.

As one might expect, Cornett had his greatest lead in the Oklahoma City area, leading by just over 10 points -- 45.5 to 35.2 percent.

But, Stitt led in the vote-rich rural parts of the state by 11 points, 41.1 to 30.1 percent. Prior analysis shows in upwards of 40 to 45 percent of Republican primary voters now reside in the rural parts of the state.  Former Oklahoma City mayors, when running for higher office, rarely have performed well in rural areas, although it should be noted that Cornett's results in the primary in the rural areas surrounding Oklahoma City showed great promise.

[QUESTION] If the Republican primary run-off for Governor was today and you were standing in the voting booth right now, for whom would you vote? [READ IN ROTATED ORDER]

1. Mick Cornett 37.5%
2. Kevin Stitt 37.5
3. Undecided/not sure [DNR] 25.0

Cornett, who has supported tax extensions during his time as Oklahoma City mayor, led in the poll among moderate Republicans by nearly 23 points, 52.3 to 30.6 percent.  Moderates, however, only make up about 15 percent of the Republican electorate in run-off elections.

Stitt, on the other hand, led Cornett among the coveted conservative Republicans by 5.4 points, 39.5 to 34.1 percent.  Conservative Republicans make up a whopping 79 percent of the Republican electorate.

Cornett led among voters over the age of 65 by nearly 12 points, who make up 37 percent of Republican electorate on election day. But, Stitt led among those 55-64 in age by 8.5 points and they make up 25 percent of the electorate.

Stitt also led among high church goers and evangelical voters which correlates with his performance among the most conservative voters.

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the poll of Oklahoma likely voters, which was commissioned by News9 and Newson6.

The scientific study was conducted July 18-20, 2018 with 483 likely Republican voters selected at random statewide from a 5-frame of SoonerPoll's own online panel, Research Now's voter panel, cell phones and landline telephones. For cell phone and landline telephones, voters are selected at random from SoonerPoll's voter database and matched with cell and landline phone numbers.  Cell phone participants are collected using live interviewers and landline participants are collected using both live interviewer and IVR (Interactive Voice Response) technology. The sample was weighted by age, gender, and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population.

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ±4.46 percent.

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on major campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.