U.S. Rep. Brad Carson is leading Republican Tom Coburn, who until now has enjoyed a lead in the race for the U.S. Senate, a NEWS9 poll shows.
It marks the first time that Carson, D-Claremore, has led Coburn, a Muskogee Republican, in any polls commissioned by The Oklahoman or NEWS9.
The latest poll is the second of nine scheduled polls by NEWS9 leading up to the Nov. 2 general elections. It surveys voters on races for president and U.S. Senate, and also polls voters on several state questions on the same ballot.
The poll of 500 likely Oklahoma voters, taken by telephone from Sept. 10 to Sept. 12, shows:
Carson with 39 percent.
Coburn with 37 percent.
Undecided voters with 19 percent.
Independent Sheila Bilyeu with 6 percent.
The poll has a 4.4 percent margin of error.
The new numbers show that recent TV ads by Carson targeting older voters are proving successful, said Chris Wilson, president of Wilson Research Strategies, a Virginia-based group that conducted the poll.
Among voters older than 63, Coburn dropped 6 percent, while Carson gained 4 percent, Wilson said. Carson now has an 11 percent lead among that age group.
"I think it's very politically smart on his part, and it's clearly having an impact," Wilson said.
A spokesman for Carson didn't comment on the specific poll numbers, saying the only poll that matters is Election Day.