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Friday, August 06, 2010

My Predictions For OK5

I've been bombarded with emails and questions regarding the 5th District GOP race and to be honest, not sure what to think at this point.  Many have asked my opinion on the runoff and thought that I would give my analysis here, rather than answer every email individually.


James Lankford is right now the media darling.  He's "new" and fresh and though his talking points are not much different than his opponent, his use of social networking as well as the emotional database (not LITERAL database) from Falls Creek are a big help to his campaign.  Being a stalwart in the Baptist Convention doesn't hurt one bit either.  He has amassed quite the list when it comes to political insiders working for his campaign that range from SAGAC (formerly with Mike Thompson) to Neva Hill.  James will have to be more aggressive in radio and television and Mike Huckabee spots won't be enough to put him over the top.  There have been rumors flying around that State Senator Randy Brogdon may endorse him and if that's the case, he brings with him an army of activists who are eager to serve and put their efforts into a "fresh" voice.

Kevin Calvey, on the other hand is aggressive and has, in my opinion, been preparing for this race at this time for the last four years.  I've heard that he has even been out to Washington to look at real estate.  Calvey wants this job and believes he is the right guy for the job.  His campaign team has the reputation of doing whatever necessary to get their guys in office and this race will be no exception.  They don't like to lose and the loss to Lankford in the primary has got to have them up at arms right now.  But, how do they go after Lankford who is perceived by many to be the 2nd coming of the Apostle Paul himself?

Very carefully.

Right now, Lankford has to do two things to win:  First, he has to develop a campaign war chest and buy much more traditional television and radio and even some print.  The message has to be laser-focused on his goals for the office and how he intends to do what he says.  Second, he is going to have to show that he can reach out to the non-Baptists. 

Calvey can win too, but he's going to have to get his hands dirty a little bit.  He's going to have to provide stark contrast between he and Lankford and do so in a positive way that isn't perceived as negative.  Lankford has already shown that he has relatively thin skin because just the rumor of a "push poll" sent the press releases flying and even blogger Mike McCarville picked up the story that Lankford thought it to be deceptive.  Calvey will have to push harder at the grass roots level, knocking doors and his people are no rookies where grass roots campaigning is concerned - Trebor Worthen, working for the firm handling Calvey is also on the state GOP "Victory" committee and is involved in the well known House PAC for the state house of representatives.  They know how to go district by district and get people to support their candidates at the doorstep.

The new Calvey ad provides a bit of a contrast between Calvey and Lankford, but he's going to have to do better than that, present a stronger message.  And Rick Flanigan is applying some pressure on the DOD regulations on Calvey's non-stop use of his uniform in all of his ads.

But then again, what do I know?  I'm just a former talk show host, a blogger, media consultant and marginally functional guitar player...