151 Band

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Poll By Any Other Name...

The Fish-Fry Straw Poll numbers came out and the Internet was buzzing with activity.  Then, within just a few short hours, State Senator Randy Brogdon came out with two new advertisements for his candidacy.  The Brogdon ads were well-produced, concise and informative regarding his desires for the future of Oklahoma and had some lower-third crawls showing the bills he authored to make his dreams come true.

The Fallin campaign released some numbers formulated by Cole, Hargraves, Snodgrass and Associates that showed Fallin leading the pack - not only within the GOP ranks, but defeating both potential Democratic contenders as well.  In the report, Pat McFerron writes:

“At this time, Mary Fallin holds a commanding lead over both of her well-known Democrat challengers. Against both Drew Edmondson and Jari Askins, Fallin has identical 22-point leads (52% Fallin / 30% Askins and Edmondson). Republicans line-up behind Fallin in both contests by a 9 to 1 ratio, while conservative Democrats (45% Fallin vs. 33% Edmondson and 52% Fallin vs. 27% Askins) break her direction in a decisive manner. Again, we see statewide support for the Republican ticket. In fact, Fallin leads both Democrats in urban (56% Fallin vs. 28% Edmondson and 54% Fallin vs. 29% Askins) and rural (49% Fallin vs. 32% Edmondson and 50% Fallin vs. 30% Askins) Oklahoma."
This is not going to be an easy race for anyone facing the juggernaut that is Congresswoman Mary Fallin.  According to a Sooner Poll, released April 20th, Fallin still has a commanding lead on Brogdon by 49.1 points.  (Read the report here.)

Brogdon's followers ("Brogdonites" as I like to call them) are very loyal - almost to a fault.  For some, it matters not what type of hyperbole they may be engaged in, they are ferocious in their attacks and unrelenting in their positions.  Some of the feedback from the Brogdonites I have heard have been rather humorous.  Here are just a couple, along with my commentary...

"Mary is not smart."  Mary is so "not smart" that she has yet to lose a campaign.  Mary has gathered around herself some of the best and the brightest in the campaign universe and her staff is pretty darned bright in the Congressional office as well.

"Mary is afraid to debate."  Mary may be many things, but "afraid" is certainly not one of them.  You don't get to Congress by being afraid.  Neither do you hold statewide office for as long as she did by being such.  Neither does one sit in as President of the Senate to force a vote while in the minority and call one's self "afraid."  Brogdon will get his debate and be stunned at just how much she knows and how well her people have done opposition research.

No one with more than 50 functioning brain cells can say that Senator Brogdon isn't working hard.  He has an astounding grass roots campaign and has become the talk radio darling in Oklahoma - as well as the candidate of choice for the Tea Party movement members.  But will that be enough?  Talk radio represents less than 3% of the radio listening audience as a whole in Central Oklahoma and won't be enough to generate the excitement to move numbers needed to defeat Fallin.

Pointing to the Rand Paul win in Kentucky, Brogdonites believe the change could be facilitated here as well.  Not as easy a sell in Oklahoma because Mary Fallin still has very high approval ratings with the rank-and-file Republican and the more attacks there are on Mary, the more solid her base becomes.  Mary has been exceptionally loyal to the GOP and throughout her career, has put forth an effort to support many down-ticket races and it has obviously paid off.

But Brogdon can pull off an upset.  In this political climate, anything is possible.  Were his supporters and advocates to begin sharing a message that is positive, that shows his plans and desires to grow the state and to lay off the attacks, he could win some of those Mary supporters.  It's hard during a campaign NOT to tell people why NOT to vote for your opponent, particularly if you think you have the moral high ground, but as a brilliant man once told me, "You have to tell people why to buy your product before you tell them why not to buy that of your competition."

Poll numbers will fluctuate and once the debates have begun, there will be movement and the numbers for the gubernatorial candidates will begin to take shape and become more realistic.