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Special Election Results in Deep Red Oklahoma Show Trouble for Wannabe Fallin Successors
Last night, in a turn that should alarm the Republicans running to succeed Governor Mary Fallin, Democrats picked up a Senate seat in deep red Oklahoma, their fourth pickup in Oklahoma so far this year.
Allison Ikley-Freeman flipped a State Senate seat in the Tulsa suburbs, outperforming Secretary Clinton’s 2016 vote share there by more than 20 points. Her Republican opponent was hampered by “growing frustration over years of state budget shortfalls and recent scandals that led to the resignation of Republican incumbents,” factors that are sure to motivate voters in next year’s gubernatorial race as well.
The state’s budget under Fallin’s leadership (or lack thereof) has become such a disaster that many of the state’s public schools are only open four days a week, rural hospitals have closed down, and state troopers are prohibited from driving more than 100 miles each day.
A poll this spring found that current Governor Mary Fallin to actually be less popular than Kevin Durant, the former Oklahoma City Thunder player who left and led the Golden State Warriors to the championship. A full 61% of Oklahoma voters have an unfavorable view of Fallin, and only 31% view her favorably.
“Last night’s results were a sharp rebuke of failed Governor Mary Fallin and a sign of trouble for Oklahoma’s Republican gubernatorial candidates,” said DGA Communications Director Jared Leopold. “Between a toxic Republican governor, a Republican-created budget disaster, and strong Democratic candidates, Republicans are now forced to defend a state that was once considered safe red territory.”