5th District: Calvey Still Leads, James Lankford Charges Into 2nd Place, Thompson Now 3rd
SoonerPoll’s just-out-of-the-field poll finds the contest for Congress in the 5th District is narrowing as clear front‐runners appear with two weeks to primary election day, and the hard-charger appears to be political novice James Lankford who still trails front-runner Kevin Calvey by about eight percent.
Political newcomer Lankford has moved into the second place position with 19.9 percent while Rep. Mike Thompson, who was previously the second place candidate, is currently in third with support from 14.1 percent of respondents.
In the March SoonerPoll, Calvey was the leader with 19.9 percent of the vote. Thompson was second with 8.6 percent and Lankford drew 7 percent.
Robert Weber, a respondent from Oklahoma City, said he wants to vote for Lankford precisely because he is fresh to politics. “It is time to get rid of the professional politicians (and) that is why I am voting for Lankford,” Weber said.
“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.”
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, Gaddie said.
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.
SoonerPoll.com commissioned and conducted the scientific study using live interviews of 306 likely fifth district Republican voters from July 7– July 9, 2010. The study has a margin of error of ± 5.6 percent. 29.1 percent of respondents were still undecided about the race, but if the current figures hold through the July 27 primary, Calvey would face Lankford in a runoff election since no candidate is expected to receive an absolute majority of votes.
To preliminarily measure runoff voting, 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 as their second choice.
The runoff results are only preliminary at this point; however they serve as an indicator of what the runoff election will likely bring.
“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.
Much like the primary dynamic, late advertising can alter the second‐choice environment. 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.