Friday, July 18, 2014
Republican Mary Fallin is in a surprisingly close contest for reelection in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at the 2014 gubernatorial race in Oklahoma.
A new statewide telephone survey of Likely Oklahoma Voters finds Fallin with 45% support to Democratic state Representative Joe Dorman’s 40%. Seven percent (7%) favor some other candidate, while eight percent (8%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Oklahoma is rated Leans Republican in the Rasmussen Reports 2014 Gubernatorial Scorecard.
Fallin, who previously served as lieutenant governor and a member of Congress, was elected governor in 2010 with 60% of the vote. She has long been expected to easily win reelection, but a poll released earlier this week by the Tulsa World shows Fallin’s favorables at a new low, even among her fellow Republicans.
The incumbent now has the support of 64% of Oklahoma Republicans, while 70% of the state’s Democrats favor Dorman. Fallin leads by seven points among voters not affiliated with either major party.
Forty-nine percent (49%) of all voters in the state now approve of the job Fallin is doing as governor, while 48% disapprove. This includes 20% who Strongly Approve and 28% who Strongly Disapprove.
Fallin is now viewed Very Favorably by 25% of Oklahoma voters and Very Unfavorably by 29%. For Dorman, Very Favorables are 11% and Very Unfavorables nine percent (9%). His biggest challenge at this point is name recognition: 35% of Oklahoma voters say they have never heard of him.
That’s one reason why at this point in an election cycle, Rasmussen Reports considers the number of people with a strong opinion more significant than the total favorable/unfavorable numbers.
The survey of 750 Likely Voters in Oklahoma was conducted on July 15-16, 2014 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Oklahoma voters trust Fallin more than Dorman in all four policy areas tracked by Rasmussen Reports. The GOP incumbent has her biggest leads when it comes to whom voters trust more to deal with taxes (46% to 32%) and government spending (44% to 32%). She leads 42% to 33% in the area of government ethics and corruption and 42% to 35% when it comes to handling social issues. But roughly one-in-four voters are undecided in every case.
Fallin chose not to establish a state-run health insurance exchange under the new national health care law, letting state residents rely on the new federal exchange instead. But then Obamacare is much more unpopular in the Sooner State than it is nationally.
Just 28% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of the health care law, while 67% view it unfavorably. This includes 11% with a Very Favorable opinion and 55% with a Very Unfavorable one.
Dorman has the support of 88% of voters who view the law Very Favorably. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of those in the much larger group with a Very Unfavorable opinion favor Fallin.
Sixty percent (60%) of all voters in Oklahoma believe the policies and practices of the federal government encourage people to enter the United States illegally. Just 23% disagree. That’s even more skepticism of the federal government than voters express nationally.
Sixty percent (60%) of voters who think the government encourages illegal immigration favor Fallin. Sixty-seven percent (67%) of those who don’t believe that to be true prefer Dorman.
Fifteen percent (15%) of Oklahoma voters rate the economy as good or excellent, while 44% consider it in poor shape. But 38% say their own finances are good or excellent, compared to 19% who rate their personal finances as poor.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney carried Oklahoma over President Obama by a 67% to 33% margin in 2012. Thirty-two percent (32%) of the state’s voters now approve of the job the president is doing, while 66% disapprove. This includes 19% who Strongly Approve and 58% who Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a far worse job approval rating here than he earns nationwide.
See our most recent numbers from the governor's races in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado,Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
To learn more about our methodology, click here.