Poll shows Bice with narrow lead over Horn

Mike Seals - October 5, 2020 10:38 pm

by Chris Casteel, The Oklahoman

Republican state Sen. Stephanie Bice has a four-point lead over Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn in the closely watched race in the 5th Congressional District, according to a new survey from an Oklahoma City polling firm.

The survey of 500 likely voters in the district shows Bice leading Horn 49% to 45%, with 6% undecided. Bice’s lead is within the margin of error, which is 4.3%.

The poll was conducted Sept. 25-30 by Cole, Hargrave, Snodgrass and Associates. The Republican consulting firm represented David Hill in the GOP primary in the race. The firm is not involved in the general election contest, said Pat McFerron, a longtime pollster for the firm.

The poll shows President Donald Trump is ahead only by 6 percentage points in the district, which he won in 2016 by 13.4 percentage points. Trump had 49% and former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, had 43% in the poll. The district includes most of Oklahoma County and Pottawatomie and Seminole counties.

National political handicappers have put the race between Bice and Horn — both of Oklahoma City — in the toss-up category.

McFerron said, “This contest will be very close. It will largely mirror the presidential contest and although there is a small amount of defining Bice that can still occur, this contest appears to be much more about motivation than persuasion.

“Given the current status of the presidential contest and the negative perception of Nancy Pelosi, Bice should be considered a favorite one month out.”

Pelosi, a California Democrat, is featured in numerous negative ads now running against Horn. The ads cite voting records in the House to portray Horn as an ally of the speaker. According to McFerron’s poll, 59% of voters in Horn’s district have an unfavorable opinion of Pelosi.

The 5th District race has attracted millions of dollars in outside money as Republicans try to reclaim the seat Horn win in 2018 in a major upset.

Penny Seale, spokesperson for Bice’s campaign, said Monday, “I’m encouraged by the poll results and more importantly the energy we see on the ground. We beat Kendra Horn’s ‘record breaking’ fundraising quarter, but Nancy Pelosi is already spending millions of dollars on negative attack ads because Kendra votes with her 90 percent of the time. ”

Horn campaign manager Ward Curtin said, “Partisan polls aside, we have always known this is going to be a close race, and our campaign is not taking a single vote for granted. Oklahomans appreciate the hard work Congresswoman Horn has done to bring both parties together to fight for our schools and more affordable, accessible health care. We’re confident that the Congresswoman’s strong record of standing up for Oklahoma will earn her re-election in November.”

The poll shows:

• Bice has a 16-point advantage over Horn with men, 56% to 40%, while Horn has a 7-point advantage among women, 50% to 43%. In the presidential race, Trump has a 19-point advantage over Biden among men, 55% to 36%, while Biden has 6-point lead over Trump among women, 49% to 43%.

• Horn “dominates among those under 45 years of age (35% Bice/59% Horn) but loses all voters over that age by double-digits including losing those between 55 and 64 by 20 points (57% Bice/37% Horn),” McFerron said. “Should those under 45 comprise more than our 30% model, the race could be closer.”

• Registered independents are split evenly, with Horn getting 51% of their support and Bice receiving 49%, according to the poll.

Voter registration numbers in the 5th District last week showed: 195,051 Republicans; 164,671 Democrats; 82,109 independents; and 3,134 Libertarians.

The poll also shows that 25% of voters surveyed in the 5th District plan to cast their ballots by mail. Of those, 74% plan to vote for Horn, according to the poll.

A statewide poll last month by Amber Integrated, of Oklahoma, showed 20% of likely voters planned to vote by mail.


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