Democratic Senator Jay Paul Gumm is locked in a tight reelection battle in his "Little Dixie" District 6 with Republican newcomer Josh Brecheen and much of the battle centers on the unpopularity of Barack Obama.
The battle's gotten so intense that an official of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said Wednesday, in a startling admission, that Gumm will win because party ticket-splitters are going to vote for Republican Mary Fallin for governor and then "come home" to vote for Gumm.
The implications of such an admission are profound.
If Fallin is topping Democrat Jari Askins in the heart of Little Dixie, what does that say of the governor's race overall? Experienced observers in both parties (Democrats admit, Republicans rejoice) say if that's true, a Fallin tidal wave will sweep her into office and and with super-popular Senator Tom Coburn at the top of the ticket, the wave could be a GOP tsunami and turn Oklahoma into a local red state as well as national one. (And one can only imagine the reaction in the Askins camp to such an admission by a party official.)
So, it was with a dropped jaw that I read the Senate Democrat news release touting a new poll claiming to show the popular Gumm with a double-digit lead over Brecheen on the heels of a poll by the respected Cole Hargrave & Snograss showing Brecheen up by six percent. And the kicker is the revelation that the pollster used is the same firm that works for Barack Obama's political operation.
The linkage between Obama's polling firm and Gumm appears to be an unintended consequence of the battle over the seat Gumm holds. Republicans have touted Brecheen's candidacy for weeks, but it's only in recent days that there seems a real possibility he could capture this oh-so-Democrat seat in an upset that surely would garner national attention.
The firm is Zata 3, known for using aggressive telephone campaigning to elect liberal Democrats all across the country.
The State Senate Republican Senatorial Committee notes that the Zata 3 client list includes the most powerful politicians in Washington, D.C. Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, as well as a host of others, including Obama, all call on Zata 3 to "help them push their liberal agendas," Republicans say.
"In addition to America’s elected elite, Zata 3 also counts the AFLCIO, the SEIU, and the MS Sierra Club among its clients. The most recent efforts of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi’s political machine are going towards trying to re-elect Jay Paul Gumm in Oklahoma," the GOP's Jarred Brejcha said.
“Apparently the Washington D.C. liberals think that investing in Jay Paul Gumm will help pass their liberal agenda. I think southeastern Oklahoma will have a different perspective. If Jay Paul Gumm really wants to prove his liberal, Barack Obama-supporting pollsters should be believed, we challenge him to allow the full text of the survey to be released up to the ballot test. We will gladly release the same of our survey and put our results against theirs,” Brejcha said.
It seems unlikely to me that Jay Paul Gumm, whom I have applauded for his firm 2nd Amendment advocacy, reached out to Obama's pollster himself. But in accepting the poll from his party's Senate committee, he accepted a fact of political life and associations: The consequence, intended or unintended.