May 26, 2018
Bill Shapard

News9/Newson6 Poll shows incumbent Attorney General needing to play catch-up

With about a month left before the June primary election, Attorney General Mike Hunter finds himself trailing his opponent in what has turned out to be a very contentious race.


His opponent, Gentner Drummond, who has never run for public office before, filed in April and immediately began running TV ads introducing himself to voters. Hunter, who hasn't appeared on a statewide ballot since the 1990s, was appointed to the seat by Governor Fallin to fill the unexpired term of Scott Pruitt who became the director of the EPA.

"Mike Hunter got caught flat-footed and his campaign should have known better," said Bill Shapard, CEO of, who went on to note that Hunter's campaign had spent nearly $300,000 with nearly nothing on voter contact. Hunter had the second highest "burn rate" of any Republican running in a down-ticket statewide race.

[box][QUESTION] If the Republican primary election for Attorney General was TODAY and you were standing in the voting booth RIGHT NOW and had to make a choice, for whom would you vote? [RANDOM READ]

1. Gentner Drummond25.9%2. Mike Hunter9.48. Don't know61.2


Drummond, who led the incumbent by more than 16 points, also led among self-identified conservatives 25.1 percent to 11.7 percent and among moderates, 26.6 percent to 8.6 percent.

Drummond, who lives in a rural area outside of Tulsa, also led Hunter by more than a two-to-one margin in the Tulsa area, 38.4 percent to 16.5 percent. Hunter, who is from Oklahoma City, trailed Drummond in the Oklahoma City area, 9.3 percent to 22.1 percent.

"Still, 61 percent of the Republican primary electorate is undecided in this race and any or everything can change in four weeks," said Shapard. "But, single digits is not where any incumbents wants to start in a race."

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 May 15-23, 2018 with 622 likely Oklahoma 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, political party and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a primary election.

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 ± 3.93 percent.

The Republican sample was 321 and has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 5.47 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 a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.