Poll: Stitt Holds Slight Edge in Governor’s Race Ahead of Election Day

KOKH - November 8, 2022 6:56 am

New polling shows a tight race for Governor of Oklahoma just one day before voters head to the polls.

Oklahoma-based Ascend Action’s latest numbers show a slight lead for incumbent Republican Kevin Stitt, 49-46, over Democratic challenger Joy Hofmeister. Monday’s poll marks the first time since mid-October Ascend’s numbers showed Stitt with a lead.

“We’re right inside that margin of error, so this race is still anyone’s to grab,” said Hudson Talley, a partner at Ascend.

Stitt’s numbers have climbed seven points from Ascend’s polling on October 14 when data showed he trailed Hofmeister 49-42. Hofmeister’s polling has remained relatively flat, shedding three points over the last three weeks. Talley points to increased ad spending from Stitt and the Republican Governors Association in the run up. But he thinks there’s one big reason the Governor’s numbers have improved down the stretch.

“There’s one defining factor in this election that’s unique, and that’s the state of the economy, top down nationally run by Democrats,” said Talley. “And so I think the economy being in the position that it’s in right now, people feeling the impact at the gas pump and grocery store, I think that is what’s turned the tide more than anything else for Stitt here.”

Demographics show each candidate remains popular with their own party. Data shows Stitt carrying 82% of the Republican vote, up from 75% in Ascend’s numbers one week ago. In the latest poll, Hofmeister pulls 13% of Republican voters, down from 17% last week. Just four-percent of Republican voters marked they were still undecided.

A key block also appears to be trending back toward Stitt.

“It looks like a lot of rural voters, who generally lean Conservative, are kind of coming back home at the end of the day. The Governor now leads in most of these rural counties that we’re tracking,” said Talley.

Hofmeister, the longtime Republican turned Democrat, keeps her decisive advantage among Democrats, 94-7. The state superintendent also has a lead among Independent voters, 64-21, however 10% of Independents remain undecided. And Talley says he believes Hofmeister has the advantage in the early vote.

“Early vote from some early exit polls, from what I saw, looked good for her,” said Talley. “So from this point on, it’s just about making sure on Election Day she has a lot of her support-base turning out.”

Hofmeister’s favorability rating dipped under water for the first time in Ascend’s polling as well. She’s now viewed favorably by 47% of respondents, and unfavorably by 52%. Governor Stitt carried the exact same rating in the latest polling, and both are viewed significantly more favorably than President Joe Biden at 37%.

Three polls from Ascend Action show the Oklahoma Governor’s race through October and November. The polls are from October 14, October 28 and November 7. (KOKH)

So what does Tuesday’s race come down to? Talley believes it’s all about turnout.

“If we end up having a historically high turnout, I think that advantages the Governor, and I think he’ll pull this out handily,” said Talley. “And I think if it’s a moderate to low turnout, that puts him in a risky position that Joy may have the upper hand on.”

Independent candidate Ervin Yen and Libertarian Natalie Bruno each received one percent in the poll.

Ascend also released numbers for other important races in Oklahoma’s midterm elections.

State Superintendent
– Ryan Walters (R): 48%
– Jena Nelson (D): 46%
– Undecided: 6%

U.S. Senate
– James Lankford (R): 56%
– Madison Horn (D): 36%
– Kenneth Blevins (L): 1%
– Michael Delaney (I): 2%
– Undecided: 4%

U.S. Senate (Unexpired)
– Markwayne Mullin (R): 53%
– Kendra Horn (D): 41%
– Robert Murphy (L): 1%
– Ray Woods (I): 2%
– Undecided: 4%

 

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