I Do, But I Don't

I Do, But I Don't

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Don't Count Calvey Out...Yet

Members of the new (and old) media have been all a-twitter about the newcomer, James Lankford and with good reason.  He's fresh, he's different, he's energetic and for some, he's not a political insider.  The recent announcement that he has hired SAGAC to handle some inside-baseball for his campaign also shows that he is politically savvy.  For the GOP 5th District, it's all about cash flow and Mike Thompson's campaign had plenty of that.

But let's not be too hasty.  Kevin Calvey wants this job in D.C. more than anyone we have seen in recent years and will pull out all the stops.

Within hours of the realization that Calvey was not going to win the race without a run-off, Club For Growth fired out an email asking their members to support the "experienced" Kevin Calvey.  While it is true that the Club For Growth is not even close to the same Club For Growth that helped Tom Coburn some years ago, they still have the database and they still have the ability to impact races.

And Calvey's campaign team are hardly slackers.  He has the former Chair of the GOP, a former State House Representative and Fount Holland on his team - all three hate to lose horribly.  To count them out of this race is tantamount to political suicide.

Kevin Calvey has his work cut out for him to be sure, but he has been preparing for this race for at least four years and nothing will motivate a man more than desire, passion and the attainment of his dream job. 

Friday, July 30, 2010

Bing Wines and Charles L. Peters Endorse James Davenport for State Senate District 44

Press Release:

Former Republican State Senate candidates Bing Wines and Charles L. Peters issued a joint statement today endorsing fellow primary candidate James Davenport for the Republican nomination for State Senate District 44.  Davenport, who received 49.92% of the vote in Tuesday’s primary election, fell just 3 votes short of winning without a run-off.  He is scheduled to face Ralph Shortey in the run-off election scheduled for August 24th.

The statement issued by Wines and Peters states, “Although there is a run-off election scheduled on August 24th, we believe the Republicans of Senate District 44 indicated a clear preference during this primary election.  James Davenport received 49.9% of the vote during the primary, falling a mere 3 votes short of the necessary margin to win without a run-off election.”

However, Wines and Peters go further by asking Shortey to withdraw his candidacy.  According to the statement, a run-off will only hurt Republican chances of winning this seat in the fall.  The statement says, “Time, effort, and resources that could be used to contend with a strong democratic candidate will be consumed during this run-off campaign.  Only Ralph can prevent this by withdrawing from this race and ensuring our nominee has every advantage possible in the fall.”

The former candidates end their statement saying, “As we look forward to November, we believe James is the best candidate to serve as our next State Senator.  He will be a strong leader for our conservative values and he will remain faithful and responsive to his constituents.  It is for this reason we endorse James Davenport as the Republican nominee for State Senate District 44.”

OK5 - So It Begins

The run-off is upon us and the McCarville Report is reporting that the Lankford campaign is under attack from Kevin Calvey.  Supposedly, the Calvey campaign is involved in what Lankford calls "push polling." 

Frankly, it's what campaigns do in run-off elections.  Not that it is either good or bad...it just is.

Sometimes push-polling helps to educate voters on the differences between two candidates.  For example a question such as the following may be effective in giving candidates a deeper understanding of who the opposition is versus who they portray themselves to be:

"Would you still vote for 'X' candidate if you knew that he/she has been campaigning for this office for four years?"

Or how about this one:

"Do you believe we need more lawyers in office?  Did you know that 'X' candidate calls him/herself a 'businessperson' but is really an attorney?"

Not that I necessarily agree with push polling, but they can be relatively effective.  And we're only three days into the run-off.  Stand by for heavy rolls...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

That Was Wild...

Like you, I spent the majority of the evening watching the primary election returns with great anticipation and yes, there were a few big surprises.  While it wasn't a huge surprise to see Congresswoman Mary Fallin defeat State Senator Randy Brogdon, it was a little surprising to see just how many turned out to vote for the Senator.  As the smoke cleared, Fallin got the decisive victory and even extended an olive branch to the Brogdon supporters - and they deserved it.  People like Cheryl Williams and Tiffany Titsworth, to name just two, were ardent supporters of Randy and they busted their backs to support him.  Brogdon's grassroots campaign was truly phenomenal and was almost textbook.  The problem for them was really the Mary Fallin juggernaut.

And Matt Pinnell at the watch party gave a rousing GOP rally cry as well.

Another wild ride was the gubernatorial race between Drew Edmondson and Lt. Governor Jari Askins.  Jari pulled out a close victory and now, Oklahoma will have its first female governor.

The 5th Congressional District race was not a big surprise to anyone, really.  Conventional wisdom dictated that it would come down to Calvey and James Lankford, but I don't think anyone thought that Lankford would top Calvey in the primary.  The News 9 interviews with both Calvey and James Lankford were quite revealing.  Both looked very tired, but had their game faces on.  Now, the runoff commences and should be very enlightening for all of us.  I know that my friend, Dave White, is very excited about the possibilities.

Of course, Dana Murphy sailed to victory and will now have six years to implement some of her plans at the Corporation Commission.  Of all the candidates for statewide office, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who has worked as hard as her and met with as many GOP members as she.  She worked hard and earned her victory.

Gary Jones won his race as well and it really wasn't that surprising, but he faces a pretty darned tough incumbent who was appointed by Brad "Gone Fishin" Henry.  Fortunately for Gary, the anti-incumbent mood is cresting and he can ride that wave to victory in November.

So, what does it all mean?  The analysis to me shows that people voted for the individual, don't care much for negative campaigns (thus, the Pruitt victory) and are looking for some real leadership with some fresh voices (generally speaking, of course).  There are still some questions to be answered, however.

How much money does the GOP have to help Mary Fallin against Askins?

How much money does the Democratic Party have to help Askins against Fallin?

Will Club For Growth kick in some more cash to support Calvey against the Baptist's red-haired prodigy?

Where will the Brogdon supporters go and whom will they support?

In the meantime, there's always the Back to School Blues Jam and Wail...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Conventional Wisdom: Lankford/Calvey Runoff in OK5

Mike McCarville, blogger and talk radio legend, reports that KTOK's news team believes that Lankford could pull off a serious upset today.  Conventional wisdom would dictate that he is correct.

Lankford signs are everywhere.

Lankford understands social networking exceptionally well.

Lankford is a relatively new and fresh face.

Lankford has the Baptist connection.

But Thompson has had the money and has been up on media aggressively and the talk is that Thompson and Lankford are in a dead heat for the runoff with the leader, attorney Kevin Calvey. 

Calvey has been under fire from Bethany's Rick Flanigan for quite some time, but hasn't had the money to get traction on his attacks.  The other candidates are probably tickled about it, but unfortunately, it doesn't seem to have created much of a ripple against Calvey, but, we'll know tonight.

Either way, this has been probably one of the most uneventful 5th District races in recent history.

It's Primary Day

Go vote.  Here's some musical caffeine.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Primary Predictions

Been covered up busy, no time to blog but today, back in the saddle and putting together my list of predictions for tomorrow evening.  Mind you, these are not endorsements by any stretch of the imagination, but rather whom I think will win, lose or draw.  Have fun...

Governor (GOP)
Fallin wins with at least 20% of the vote.  The attacks on Mary Fallin by the Brogdon campaign have not been effective and have missed the mark on many levels.  The response of the Brogdon campaign to media inquiries have also caused support from otherwise supportive bloggers and this will cost Brogdon dearly.  The question will be whether or not the hardcore Brogdonites will support Mary in her race against the Democratic nominee.

Governor (Democratic)
Edmondson will squeak out a narrow victory over Jari Askins.  Drew's campaign ads have been effective, creative and striking at the heart of the issues most important to voters in Oklahoma...jobs.

Lt. Governor (GOP)
Lamb wins in a walk.  John Wright, though he received an endorsement from OCPAC and a few other conservative organizations, just hasn't had the ability to raise money and compete against the "Bold and Beautiful" Todd Lamb.  Lamb will face the toughest political race in his life with Kenneth Corn. 

Corporation Commission
Dana Murphy.  Period.  Tod Yeager entered the race and everyone is still trying to figure out why - but the process is what it is and if one can pony up the cash to file for statewide office, so be it.  Dana will win with at least 80% of the vote.

Labor Commissioner
Mark Costello was and is the odds-on favorite to win this race, but feedback is that his catchy "Mellow Yellow" tune radio ads are annoying and just too damned cute.  He may pull it off, but he will have to switch gears in the general election.  The ad is annoying.

Insurance Commissioner...yawn.
The only people who really care about this race are the candidates and their consultants.  I call this one a push.  Doak will probably win and on Wednesday, most voters will be asking, "Who did I vote for?"

State Treasurer (GOP)
This is going to be very interesting and I'm calling this one a toss-up.  Miller will probably do well in Oklahoma County and parts of Tulsa County, but Laughlin's support in much of rural Oklahoma will be phenomenal.  Western Oklahoma is "Laughlin Land," and the calls and emails have been flying in his support since the NRA completely screwed up and forgot to list Laughlin's "A" rating with them, but somehow listed Miller's.  I still think that this is a toss-up.  Conventional wisdom dictates Miller wins this, but Miller has a LOT of people who find him exceptionally arrogant and the fact that the Vice Chair of the GOP has been working on his campaign smacks of elitism.

State Auditor/Inspector
Gary Jones pissed off a bunch of the party faithful when he decided to run again for the post of State Auditor, but will their protest vote be enough to keep Gary from getting the nomination?  I doubt it.  I think that Gary's reputation of helping bring down the fraud and corruption by the former State Auditor will be enough for the Republican voters to give him another shot at the title.  This is do-or-die for Jones.  If he loses the primary and again loses the general in November, he's probably going to have to hang up his political hat and get back to running his family ranch in Cache.

Attorney General
Ryan Leonard had the money, the insider apparatus, the Keating blue-blood legacy, and endorsements out the rear-end.  But then, he attacked a guy whom everyone in the party likes...Scott Pruitt.  Scott Pruitt wins this one in a squeaker, but he wins nonetheless.

And now, the federal races:

Winners:
Congressman Tom Cole
Congressman Dan Boren
Congressman John Sullivan
U.S. Senator Tom Coburn

OK5 (GOP)
Everyone knows I am supporting Dave White, the Independent candidate in this race and he has made it known that he really, really looks forward to facing Kevin Calvey in the general election.  But my predications are that this is going to be a lot closer than some think.  Thompson's television commercials have helped him immensely in polling and though at the beginning, it was Thompson's race to lose, Kevin Calvey's non-stop diatribe about his service as a National Guard reservist in Iraq has really hit the mark with a lot of voters.  McCarville believes very strongly that it will end up being a Lankford/Calvey run-off, but I say "not so fast."   Thompson has a TON of money on hand and he has been using it pretty wisely.  Lankford will have the Baptist connection on the phones hard over the next 24 hours.  Final prediction:  Calvey/Thompson in the runoff.  And in the runoff, the pretty white gloves come off.

Jett will probably endorse Calvey.  Dr. Roy will probably endorse anyone but Calvey.  Rick Flanigan (probably the most literate and conservative of the OK5 candidates) will stay out of it.  Harry Johnson will go back into retirement. 

OK5 (Democratic)
Coyle wins this in a walk.  The Paseo crowd just isn't enough to pull it off for Tom Guild.

So...there are some of my predictions.  When we hit the run-off, we share some more.