The State Houses – What’s At Stake in 2010

Thirty-nine states will be electing a governor during the 2009-2010 election cycle. Of these, eighteen races will not include an incumbent and four incumbents who will be running were not elected to their current position. The recession and huge budget deficits threaten to undercut the power of incumbency for governors running for reelection.

The Current Line-Up

800px-governors_by_party

Oklahoma

oklahoma-stampIncumbent: Brad Henry (D) Term-limited

Primary Election: July 27, 2010
Run-off (if necessary): August 24, 2010
General Election: November 2, 2010

STATUS: OPEN SEAT
RATING: Lean Republican Pick-Up

RECENT ELECTION RETURNS:
2002 Result: Henry wins 43.27%-42.61%.
2006 Result:
Henry wins 67%-33%.

OKLAHOMA POLITICAL TRIVIA

Prior to the 2008 elections, Republicans had never controlled the Oklahoma Senate. If Republicans win the race to replace Governor Brad Henry and maintain their majorities in the state house and senate, it will be the first time in history they control both the executive and legislative branches in the Sooner State.

Oklahoma Gubernatorial Race: Headlines

Democrats:
Jari Askins Web Site Twitter YouTube
Drew Edmondson Web Site Twitter YouTube

Republicans:
Randy Brogdon Web Site Twitter
Mary Fallin Web Site YouTube

State Resources:
Oklahoma State Election Board

PollWatch:
Sooner Poll: After year in office, nearly 70% approve of Fallin’s job performance (1/10/12)
Sooner Poll: Fallin holds double-digit lead, 54-39% (10/12/10)
Rasmussen: Fallin expands lead, 60-34% (9/23/10)
Rasmussen: Fallin’s lead shrinks, but still impressive, 52-37% (8/26/10)
Rasmussen: Fallin opens general election with wide lead over Askins, 57-36 (7/29/10)
Rasmussen: Fallin leads Edmondson 48-39 (6/30/10)
Sooner Poll: Fallin has double-digit lead over both Democrats (6/16/10)
Sooner Poll: Dead heat between Askins, Edmondson (6/11/10)
Rasmussen: Fallin early frontrunner (3/2/10)
Public Policy Polling early numbers (May 2009) – pdf

6) Oklahoma – The contest to replace term-limited Democrat Brad Henry has drawn top-tier candidates from both parties. Henry’s popularity in one of the most Republican states in America (Oklahoma was the only state in the Lower 48 in which every county voted for John McCain) is a testament to his ability to garner support from across the ideological spectrum. Despite Oklahoma’s bright scarlet red on the national map, the key to statewide election victories is winning the support of the growing number of independents in the state. But the Sooner State is likely to see a Republican win the Governor’s Mansion in 2010. If that happens and they maintain their legislative majorities, it will mark the first time in history the GOP controls both the legislative and executive branches in the state.

On the Republican side, Congresswoman Mary Fallin is the frontrunner, but state Senator Randy Brogdon has been making noise among the conservative activist base. While he may only have a remote chance of winning the GOP nod, he could cause Fallin problems on her right. Aligned with the “birther” movement, Brogdon is working to harness the anger and energy of the Tea Party movement in his bid to win the GOP nomination.

The two Democrats vying for their party’s nod, Lt. Governor Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmondson, have both proven their ability to win statewide elections.  Either Democrat will have to overcome what many analysts believe could be an Obama backlash undermining Democratic candidacies in the increasingly Republican state. A May 2009 poll (pdf) conducted by Public Policy Polling showed Fallin with a comfortable double-digit lead over both potential Democratic rivals. An internal Fallin summer poll recently made public echoed these numbers. But her election is far from assured. If Brogdon manages to drag Fallin too far to the right (if that’s possible in Oklahoma) it could open the door for the Democrats to win in November. As the least ideological of the three major candidates, Askins might be the logical heir to the outgoing Henry.