The poll conducted by SoonerPoll following the primary election asked respondents a variety of other questions, including whether they approve of President Barack Obama.
In the current political environment, the president and his policies have become the focus of political debate from the national to the local level. The president’s approval rating, while never strong among voters in Oklahoma, nonetheless has consequences for Democratic voter participation in November.
The poll results reveal that those with strong opinions for or against the president were more likely to vote than those with weaker or no opinions.
Primary voters who strongly support Obama were more likely to prefer Askins over Edmondson with few undecided, while voters who strongly oppose Obama were evenly split with about a third in favor of Askins, about a third in favor of Edmondson and about a third undecided.
“Obama had a polarizing effect on the Democrat electorate, those undecided Democratic Primary voters who oppose Obama had difficulty picking a candidate because neither candidate represented the anti-Obama candidate,” Shapard said. “For obvious political reasons, neither Askins nor Edmondson wanted to distance themselves from their party in Washington or Obama.”
When the Obama approval ratings are compared to how Democrats intend to vote in November a similar trend is revealed.
Those who strongly approve of Obama are more likely to say they will vote for Askins, inversely, Democrats that do not approve of Obama are more likely to either support Mary Fallin or be undecided.
“Right now, polling shows that Mary Fallin is receiving a large number of crossover votes from Democrats who are unsatisfied with Obama and have nowhere else to turn,” Shapard said.
Gaddie agrees, and sees this as a hurdle for all Democratic competitors this November. “The challenge for Democrats on the ballot, including Ms. Askins, is to figure out how to invigorate and mobilize these Democrats, who need to turnout and support her at an 85 percent clip to prevail in November,” Gaddie said.