April 23, 2010
Wesley Burt

Oklahoma Political Environment Features Falling Approval of All Gubernatorial Candidates

Most recent SoonerPoll results show declining favorability for all major Democratic and Republican candidates for Governor since our January 2010 poll.� The decline in favorability of the candidates accompanies ongoing declines in approval for governmental institutions among voters nationwide.

"The political debate in the country�has grown more acrimonious, from the local to the national level," noted SoonerPoll's Keith Gaddie. "The result of contentious debates over issues such as health care is�declining approval of parties and institutions.�� That decline is�rippling through to both Democratic and and Republican candidates.", Oklahoma�s public opinion pollster, conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 500 likely voters from April 5 � 12. The study has a margin of error of � 4.38 percent.

[box] Results and Analysis [/box]
Attorney General Edmondson saw a 7.2 point drop in favorability, the largest of any candidate.

However, Edmondson maintains a 7 point lead, virtually the same as in January, over his opponent Lieutenant Governor Jari Askins who dropped 6.9 points in the poll.

Among self identifying liberals in Oklahoma Edmondson leads Askins in favorability by an even larger margin, 56.4 percent to 47.3 percent.

U.S. House Representative Mary Fallin's favorability dropped from 54.4 percent in January to 50.2 percent now.� Her favorability still far out-strips that of her primary opponent, State Senator Randy Brogdon. Brogdon's favorability numbers dropped from 12.9 percent to 11.2 percent.

Brogdon's greatest struggle in this race is with name recognition; three-quarters of Oklahomans had insufficient information to form an opinion of the Owasso Republican, despite his earned media during the 2010 legislative session.

In a SoonerPoll survey from March 2009, 92.6 percent of respondents said they had no opinion of or had never heard of Brogdon. Brogdon has had success dropping that number, getting it as low as 66.3 percent in January before rising to 75 percent this April.

Although Brogdon has had success getting his name out, it has not always won him supporters. Polling data shows that his favorable opinions have stayed consistent with his unfavorable numbers.

�For every one person that learns about Brogdon and finds him favorable, it seems like someone else learns about him and finds him unfavorable," observed SoonerPoll's Keith Gaddie. "That phenomenon is the trademark of a divisive candidate."

Among self identified conservatives in Oklahoma, Fallin leads Brogdon in favorability by a large margin, 60.7 percent to 14.2 percent..

Although Mary Fallin has the highest favorability numbers and a large lead over Brogdon, her favorability has dropped 13.7 points since April of 2009.

Wesley Burt
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Wesley Burt