Oklahoma voters should let state concerns shape their decisions

THE only Oklahoma races to be settled in November that have direct national ties are for seats in Congress — four U.S. House seats and one U.S. Senate seat. Yet much of the campaigning this fall for other offices could focus nearly as much on Washington as it does on NE 23 and Lincoln.

The Oklahoman Editorial Modified: September 14, 2010 at 5:14 am •  Published: September 14, 2010

Republican nominee Mary Fallin calls Obama's health care initiative "an expensive, government-run health care plan that will deteriorate the quality of our medical services."

Across this nation, the story is much the same. Pam Bondi, a Republican candidate for Florida attorney general, used a campaign spiel of "Bondi vs. Pelosi" — as if she were running for Congress.

"With most signs pointing to big Republican gains in the fall midterm elections," the St. Petersburg Times reported last week, "Republican strategists are determined to turn even local and state races into referendums on Obama and the Democratic Party nationally."

Republicans smell blood and will leverage their disaffection toward Obama. And don't think Democrats wouldn't be doing the same if the tables were turned.

Gov. Brad Henry also was a 2008 Obama delegate, but his popularity remains high. Of course he's not on the ballot this year and he might not have been quite so pro-Obama were he standing for re-election.

Nationalization of this election appears inevitable. We just hope voters will decide state races based on state concerns rather than making Obama the vicarious opponent in every single race.

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