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2010 Governor's race: Contest still 'up for grabs,' consultant says

State political consultant say governor's race is closer than two recent national polls that show Fallin with a large lead.
BY MICHAEL MCNUTT Modified: September 25, 2010 at 9:05 am •  Published: September 25, 2010

McFerron said he believes Fallin will win the Nov. 2 election.

"I think she'll win it rather handily," he said.

A lot depends on how much money Fallin can raise to put up television advertisements during the weeks leading up to the election and how much more money Askins will raise and put into her campaign. Fallin has raised $2.8 million and Askins has raised $2.4 million, which includes $1,075,000 that she has given her campaign so far, according to latest campaign information.

McFerron said polls he has seen show Fallin with about 50 percent support.

"It's Mary Fallin's race to lose," he said.

Pat Hall, a consultant and former executive director of the state Democratic Party, said polls showing Fallin with big leads and the expectations that she will win may be her biggest problem.

"I've been with Jari Askins and I've been against Jari Askins and I'd much rather be with Jari Askins in a fight," Hall said.

Other races

In other races, the consultants agreed that U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, should easily win re-election and that Insurance Commissioner Kim Holland should win a second full four-year term.

State Rep. Ken Miller, R-Edmond, is considered the favorite in the state treasurer race, while close contests are seen in the lieutenant governor, state auditor and inspector, state schools superintendent, labor commissioner and attorney general races.

The four incumbent congressmen are seen as winning, but the consultants were split as to who would win the 5th Congressional District race, which covers most of Oklahoma County and all of Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.

The winner will succeed Fallin, who was elected to the post in 2006.

Odom said if Democrat Billy Coyle, of Oklahoma City, could raise enough money to air television ads in the weeks leading up to the election "then you may get an interesting race."

McFerron, who started polling for Republican James Lankford, of Edmond, after he won the primary runoff election, said: "Lankford's going to win this seat. It should not be a problem at all."

All agreed that independent Clark Duffe, of Edmond, would get a small percentage of votes.