Statewide
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March 12, 2010
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Bill Shapard

GOP challengers poised to pick up Fields and Holland commissioner seats

Oklahoma City � Both State House Representative Tad Jones and John Doak, a political newcomer,� show that Republicans may have realistic opportunities to take out Democrat incumbents in Oklahoma�s mid-term elections this November.� Jones is running for State Labor Commissioner against the current commissioner Lloyd Fields, and Doak is running for State Insurance Commissioner against the current commissioner Kim Holland.� Neither has run for statewide office before.

�Oklahoma has been trending Republican for some time now, even during 2008 when Democrats did extremely well at the national level,� said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com, �and this year, given the current political climate in Washington, Republicans� in Oklahoma look like they are well positioned to pick up several statewide offices.�

In a statewide poll of likely voters, Jones led Commissioner Fields by three points, 30.1% to 27.1% with 42.8% still undecided.� Doak, who has never run for public office before, trailed Commissioner Holland by five points (28.5% to 33.5%) with 38% undecided, but led in the generic ballot test by slightly more than two points.

�This should be very troubling for any statewide incumbent when as much as 40% of likely voters are undecided,� said Shapard, who went on to note that undecided voters will typically break for the challenger since they have already had a good look at the incumbent who has run before.� �The power of the incumbency is literally non-existent among these Democrat incumbents.�

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma�s public opinion pollster, conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 1,000 likely voters in Oklahoma from February 25 � March 8. The study has a margin of error of � 3.1%.

Additional polling results showed Jones had more than a four-to-one party crossover vote advantage in the poll, which is important to Republicans candidates running statewide since Democrats have always outnumber Republicans in registration.� Among Independents, Jones also had a slight advantage.

Poll results were much tighter for Doak and Holland, but Doak remained competitive in traditionally Democratic parts of the state and had a three-to-one advantage among likely voters who identified themselves as �very conservative.�� Conservative voters make up 49% of the Oklahoma electorate.

�As the campaigns progress, these races will probably remain tight and the end result is very uncertain this far out,� Shapard said.� �But, this same pattern developed in the Roth-Murphy race for Corporation Commission in 2008, and Murphy, the Republican, eventually won.�

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

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