SoonerPoll finds Calvey ahead in 5th C.D., Lankford, Thompson in the hunt

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published: 13-Jul-2010

In the race for the Fifth Congressional District Republican nomination a new SoonerPoll finds former state Rep. Kevin Calvey with 27.8 percent, compared to 19.9 percent for James Lankford and 14.1 percent for state Rep. Mike Thompson of Oklahoma City.

The new poll found the field narrowing, but with a clear front-runner and a competitive race for the number two position in a likely runoff. Calvey led when SoonerPoll examined the race in March. He still leads among Republicans whom are likely to vote in the 5th District primary on July 27th.

Lankford, a political newcomer, moved into second place. Thompson, previously in second, runs a close third with support from 14.1 percent of respondents.

Robert Weber a respondent from Oklahoma City said he wants to vote for Lankford precisely because he is fresh to politics. Weber told SoonerPoll, “It is time to get rid of the professional politicians that is why I am voting for Lankford.”

“What we might be seeing, is a consequence of the campaign strategies of Lankford and Calvey,” Keith Gaddie, Vice President of SoonerPoll noted. “Lankford is attempting to bring new voters into the process, while the Calvey campaign is going after active, core conservatives.”

In a release sent to CapitolBeatOK, SoonerPoll said it is important to note that the lead Calvey has over Lankford and the lead Lankford has over Thompson both fall within the margin of error.

State Representative Shane Jett, the last major candidate to join the field, received support from 6.2 percent of respondents, while Dr. Johnny Roy, Harry Johnson and Rick Flanigan finished in respective order, all with less than 3 percent of voters support. commissioned and conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 306 likely fifth district Republican voters from July 7– July 9. The study has a margin of error of ± 5.6 percent. Nearly one-third of respondents, 29.1 percent, were still undecided about the race. If current figures hold through primary, Calvey could face Lankford or Thompson in a runoff. No candidate is expected to receive an absolute majority of votes on July 27.

To measure runoff voting based on the current top two, SoonerPoll also asked respondents who their second preference would be. Results show that those who preferred a candidate other than Calvey or Lankford as their first choice chose Calvey over Lankford by a 2 to 1 margin. The runoff results are only preliminary at this point; however they serve as an indicator.

“Last minute campaigning and advertising spending could sway the large amount of undecided voters and affect who the top two candidates are going into the run-off,” Gaddie said in SoonerPoll’s release today.

Much like the primary dynamic, late advertising can alter the second-choice environment. SoonerPoll noted, “Political experts anticipate large amounts of third party money to be spent in the closing weeks of the campaign, a reflection of the recent Supreme Court case Citizens United v. FEC, which changed campaign fund-raising laws and allows for unlimited corporate spending.”

NOTE: Editor Patrick B. McGuigan contributed to this report.