United States Senate special election in Oklahoma, 2014

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United States Senate special election in Oklahoma, 2014
Oklahoma
2010 ←
November 4, 2014 → 2016

  James Lankford, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg Johnson c.jpg
Nominee James Lankford Constance N. Johnson
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 557,002 237,923
Percentage 67.9 % 29.0%

Oklahoma Senate Special Election Results by County, 2014.svg

County results

U.S. Senator before election

Tom Coburn
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

James Lankford
Republican

The 2014 United States Senate special election in Oklahoma took place on November 4, 2014, to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Oklahoma, concurrently with the regularly-scheduled election to Oklahoma's other Senate seat, as well as other elections to the United States Senate in other states and elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.

This special election was held to fill the remaining two years of incumbent Republican Senator Tom Coburn's second term. Coburn, a strong supporter of term limits, had announced even before he was elected to the Senate in 2004 that he would only serve for two terms. After he was re-elected in 2010, he reaffirmed that he would not run for re-election in 2016.[1][2]

In January 2014, Coburn announced he would resign at the end of the 113th United States Congress on January 3, 2015.[3][4] As pursuant to Oklahoma law, he has submitted an "irrevocable letter of resignation" to take effect on that day. Thus, the special election was held while he was still in office.[5][6]

Unlike most states, except in very specific circumstances,[a] Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin does not have the power to appoint a replacement Senator. Instead, state law required her to schedule the special election "as soon as practicable".[8]

Primary elections were held on June 24, 2014. The Republicans nominated U.S. Representative James Lankford; as no candidate in the Democratic primary received more than 50% of the vote, a primary runoff election was held on August 26 between State Senator Constance N. Johnson and perennial candidate Jim Rogers, which Johnson won. In the general election, Lankford defeated Johnson in a landslide and was sworn in on the day Coburn's resignation took effect. Lankford is running for re-election to a full six-year term in 2016.

Republican primary[edit]

By April 2014, Lankford and Shannon were seen as the main contenders for the Republican nomination, with Brogdon a potential spoiler who was running even further to the right than they did. Although there was reported to be "little daylight ideologically" between Lankford and Shannon, and both are associated with the Tea Party movement, Shannon attracted the support of figures including Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Sarah Palin and organizations including FreedomWorks and the Senate Conservatives Fund. They criticized Lankford for his votes to raise the debt ceiling and for being a member of the Republican House leadership. Supporters of Lankford, including the Chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, pointed out Shannon's ties to the establishment-supporting Congressman Tom Cole, accused Cruz, Lee, Palin and the others of being "outsiders" who were attempting to meddle in the state's primary, and also pointed out that the aforementioned had previously criticized Coburn, whom they were now praising in an attempt to woo him into supporting Shannon.[9] Local Tea Party groups also criticised the national conservatives, saying in an open letter that they had endorsed Shannon without consulting them or examining his record, that Shannon was a "poser" who had "had never stepped foot" in a Tea Party meeting before announcing his run for the Senate and "no longer attends grassroots meetings nor does he seek the grassroots support".[10]

In June, Coburn responded to attack ads calling Lankford a "Washington insider" who "votes with liberals" by saying that "political advertisements by groups... supporting T.W. Shannon have crossed an important line — they simply aren't truthful and they mischaracterize James Lankford's service in Congress." He also called Lankford "a man of absolute integrity" who was "one of the most honest, thoughtful and sincere men I have met in my time in Washington." He also praised Lankford's "life experience", "perspective" and willingness to fight the "status quo", but stopped short of fully endorsing him. He did however say that "as a voter", the negative ads from pro-Shannon groups made him question Shannon's ability to govern.[11]

By mid-June, Lankford was considered to have the momentum, a reversal of fortunes, though a runoff was considered likely.[12] Shannon's negative advertisements were considered to have backfired, in contrast to Lankford's advertisements, which were largely positive. Lankford also raised and spent more money than Shannon, who was not significantly helped financially by national conservative groups, who had focused their attention on the primary runoff in Mississippi between incumbent Senator Thad Cochran and conservative challenger Chris McDaniel. The runoff in Mississippi was held on the same day as the primary in Oklahoma and Alexandra Jaffe of The Hill reported that Shannon's best hope was to force a runoff, which would allow the national groups to refocus on Oklahoma.[13] Outside spending for Shannon was $1.8m compared to $170,000 for Lankford but Lankford spent $1.8m to Shannon's $1.1m.[14]

In what was considered a surprise result, Lankford defeated Shannon by over 20%, negating the need for a runoff. Lankford ran a strong, well-organised campaign, considered by Congressman Tom Cole to be "probably the best organization in the state that was operating at this time". He was also helped by his "existing statewide presence grounded in the state's burgeoning Baptist community", which goes back to his time before politics when he ran the Falls Creek Baptist Youth Camp,[15] and the fact that his congressional district is based in Oklahoma City, where turnout was predicted to be high because there was also a competitive race in the Republican primary to succeed him. To attempt to counteract that, Shannon targeted the media market in Tulsa.[12][14] Finally, unlike in other races, there was no split between the establishment and the Tea Party, with Shannon not capitalising on an "anti-establishment" wave that benefited others like Ben Sasse in Nebraska. Cole summarised: "We don’t need people coming in and telling us who conservatives are, [because] everybody is a conservative. There are no moderates."[14] State Senator David Holt, who supported Shannon, said that Coburn's comments about Lankford were the most important factor, saying that "Senator Coburn is enormously respected in Oklahoma, and when it appeared that he had a preference, I think that the voters listened."[14]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Randy
Brogdon
Andy
Craig
Kevin
Crow
James
Lankford
Eric
McCray
T.W.
Shannon
J. C.
Watts
Jason
Weger
Other Undecided
SoonerPoll June 19–21, 2014 840 ± 3.38% 4.2% 0.4% 1.4% 43.4% 0.9% 34.9% 1.5% 13.3%
SoonerPoll June 14–18, 2014 415 ± 4.81% 3% 41% 38% 2% 16%
Tarrance Group* June 9–11, 2014 500 ± 4.5% 41% 34% 7% 18%
Public Opinion Strategies June 7–9, 2014 600 ± 4.81% 39% 37% 6% 18%
American Viewpoint May 27–29, 2014 500 ± 4.4% 4% 48% 26% 3% 18%
Tarrance Group* May 12–14, 2014 501 ± 4.5% 5% 43% 33% 18%
SoonerPoll May 5–10, 2014 580 ± 4.07% 4.5% 0.6% 1.7% 33.8% 0.6% 31.9% 1.5% 25.4%
American Viewpoint April 27–29, 2014  ? ± ? 36% 34%  ?  ?
NSON Opinion Strategy April 23–29, 2014 400 ± ? 3.5% 1% 0.3% 30.8% 32% 1.0% 32.5%
Public Opinion Strategies April 21–22, 2014 500 ± 4.48% 7% 32% 42% 3% 16%
Public Opinion Strategies March 16–17, 2014 500 ± 4.38% 7% 37% 28% 3% 25%
Public Opinion Strategies February 9–11, 2014  ? ± ? 51% 16% 1% 32%
Tarrance Group* February 10–12, 2014 500 ± 4.9% 3% 47% 17% 33%
Harper Polling Jan. 30–Feb. 1, 2014 627 ± 3.91% 37% 8% 40% 2% 13%
54% 18% 1% 27%
  • * Internal poll for James Lankford campaign

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[52]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford 152,749 57.24
Republican T.W. Shannon 91,854 34.42
Republican Randy Brogdon 12,934 4.85
Republican Kevin Crow 2,828 1.06
Republican Andy Craig 2,427 0.91
Republican Eric McCray 2,272 0.85
Republican Jason Weger 1,794 0.67
Total votes 266,858 100

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

Withdrew[edit]

  • Charles Jenkins, retired federal employee[56]

Declined[edit]

Endorsements[edit]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
Patrick
Hayes
Constance N.
Johnson
Jim
Rogers
Other Undecided
SoonerPoll June 19–21, 2014 781 ± 3.5% 6.4% 13.2% 5.4% 75.1%
SoonerPoll May 5–10, 2014 631 ± 3.9% 5% 9.2% 9.4% 76.3%

Results[edit]

Democratic primary results[52]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Constance N. Johnson 71,462 43.84
Democratic Jim Rogers 57,598 35.34
Democratic Patrick Hayes 33,943 20.82
Total votes 163,003 100

Runoff[edit]

Democratic primary runoff results[67]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Constance N. Johnson 54,762 57.99
Democratic Jim Rogers 39,664 42.01
Total votes 94,426 100

Independents[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Declared[edit]

General election[edit]

Polling[edit]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin of
error
James
Lankford (R)
Constance N.
Johnson (D)
Other Undecided
Sooner Poll October 25–29, 2014 949 ± 3.18% 59.4% 28.1% 3.5%[68] 9%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov October 16–23, 2014 995 ± 5% 63% 29% 0% 8%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov September 20–October 1, 2014 1,244 ± 3% 65% 24% 0% 11%
Sooner Poll September 27–29, 2014 400 ± 4.9% 56% 28% 4% 12%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov August 18–September 2, 2014 821 ± 5% 61% 28% 1% 10%
Sooner Poll August 28–30, 2014 603 ± 3.99% 58.2% 28.1% 3%[68] 10.7%
Rasmussen August 27–28, 2014 750 ± 4% 58% 29% 6% 7%
CBS News/NYT/YouGov July 5–24, 2014 1,302 ± 4.7% 56% 34% 6% 5%

Results[edit]

Oklahoma US Senate Election (Unexpired Term), 2014[69]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican James Lankford (Incumbent) 557,002 67.85
Democratic Connie Johnson 237,923 28.98
Independent Mark T. Beard 25,965 3.17
Total votes 820,890 100
Republican hold

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "No special election shall be called if the vacancy occurs after March 1 of any even-numbered year if the term of the office expires the following year. In such case, the candidate elected to the office at the regular General Election shall be appointed by the Governor to fill the unexpired term."[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tom Coburn cruises to a second and final term in the U.S. Senate". NewsOK. November 3, 2010. Retrieved July 31, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kasperowicz, Pete (August 16, 2011). "Coburn reaffirms term-limit pledge, won't run in 2016". thehill.com. Retrieved December 27, 2012. 
  3. ^ Murphy, Sean (17 January 2014). "Okla. Sen. Coburn to Retire After Current Session". ABC News. Retrieved 17 January 2014. 
  4. ^ Edwards, A (January 17, 2014). "Oklahoma will hold special election to fill Coburn’s U.S. Senate seat after retirement". kfor.com. Retrieved January 17, 2014. 
  5. ^ Michael Bates (January 16, 2014). "Replacing Tom Coburn: Oklahoma's congressional special election laws". BatesLine. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Governor Mary Fallin Comments on Dr. Tom Coburn’s Announced Retirement from the U.S. Senate". ok.gov. January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "2006 Oklahoma Code - Title 26. — Elections". law.justia.com. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Oklahoma Sen. Coburn announces early retirement". PBS. January 17, 2014. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Burgess Everett (April 24, 2014). "Tea party eats its own in Oklahoma". Politico. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  10. ^ Chris Casteel (April 26, 2014). "Oklahoma Tea Party leaders call T.W. Shannon a 'poser'". Tulsa World. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  11. ^ Alexandra Jaffe (June 12, 2014). "Coburn slams negative attacks". The Hill. Retrieved July 23, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b Alexis Levinson (June 18, 2014). "Lankford Builds Momentum in Oklahoma Senate Race". Roll Call. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  13. ^ Alexandra Jaffe (June 11, 2014). "GOP primary in Oklahoma gets negative". The Hill. Retrieved July 28, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b c d Alexis Levinson (June 25, 2014). "How James Lankford Won Big in Oklahoma (Video)". Roll Call. Retrieved August 27, 2014. 
  15. ^ Chris Casteel (October 12, 2014). "Falls Creek runs deep: Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford's first campaign relied on faith, connections". News OK. Retrieved November 21, 2014. 
  16. ^ Russell Mills (March 3, 2014). "Randy Brogdon announces US Senate run". KRMG. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ Faught, Jamison (March 26, 2014). "Recap: Current Candidates for Coburn's Senate seat". Muskogee Politico. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  18. ^ Troxtell, Adam (February 11, 2014). "Crow confident in face of obstacles to reach Senate". The Express-Star. Retrieved February 16, 2014. 
  19. ^ "US Rep. Lankford Announces Run For US Senate Seat". news9.com (KWTV-DT). January 20, 2014. Archived from the original on January 24, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Okla. City businessman to seek US Senate seat". The Oklahoman. Associated Press. January 28, 2014. Retrieved January 29, 2014. 
  21. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (January 28, 2014). "Okla. Speaker to launch Senate bid". The Hill. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Norman paramedic to seek open US Senate seat". news9.com (KWTV-DT). Associated Press. January 21, 2014. Archived from the original on January 24, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  23. ^ a b c Jaffe, Alexandra (January 28, 2014). "Bridenstine won't run for Oklahoma Senate". The Hill. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  24. ^ a b Casteel, Chris (January 19, 2014). "Oklahoma Rep. James Lankford to run for Senate; Cole and Pruitt bow out". The Oklahoman. Retrieved January 20, 2014. 
  25. ^ Coburn, James (January 21, 2014). "Douglas announces for 5th District". Edmond Sun. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  26. ^ a b Cameron, Alex (January 17, 2014). "Lawmakers React To Retirement Of Sen. Coburn". news9.com (KWTV-DT). Archived from the original on January 24, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  27. ^ Casteel, Chris (January 27, 2014). "Former Gov. Frank Keating says he won't run for U.S. Senate". The Oklahoman. Retrieved January 27, 2014. 
  28. ^ Hampton, Joy (January 22, 2014). "Lankford to run for Coburn’s Senate seat". The Moore American. Retrieved January 30, 2014. 
  29. ^ Sullivan, Sean (January 17, 2014). "The race for Coburn’s seat could attract a lot of interest. Here’s who to watch". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Lucas seeks 11th term as congressman from Oklahoma". News on 6. April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 10, 2014. 
  31. ^ Berman, Russell (January 17, 2014). "One of 5 GOP members...". Twitter. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  32. ^ OCPAC Endorses Randy Brogdon; He Claims ‘True conservative’ Mantle | The McCarville Report
  33. ^ Twitter / RandyBrogdon: I am happy to receive the
  34. ^ Gowdy Backs Lankford | The McCarville Report
  35. ^ Jaffe, Alexandra (April 4, 2014). "Huckabee endorses Rep. Lankford for Senate in Oklahoma GOP primary". The Hill. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  36. ^ Issa To Support Lankford | The McCarville Report
  37. ^ Tulsa Area State Senators Support Lankford | James Lankford for Senate
  38. ^ Dr. Ben Carson announces support for T.W. Shannon - T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate - T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate
  39. ^ Ted Cruz Backs T.W. Shannon for Oklahoma Senate Special Election
  40. ^ T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate | RedState
  41. ^ Tea-party favorite endorses T.W. Shannon's bid for Senate - Tulsa World: Government
  42. ^ Mark Levin Joins Sarah Palin in Endorsing T.W. Shannon
  43. ^ Miller Endorses Shannon | The McCarville Report
  44. ^ Palin endorses T.W. Shannon in Senate race in Oklahoma - The Washington Post
  45. ^ ACU ENDORSES SHANNON FOR US SENATE | American Conservative Union
  46. ^ T.W. Shannon Receives Endorsement from Citizens United - T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate - T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate
  47. ^ FreedomWorks PAC Endorses T. W. Shannon in the Oklahoma Senate Race | FreedomWorks
  48. ^ Howell, Kellan (April 22, 2014). "FreedomWorks backs Shannon in Okla. race". The Washington Times. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  49. ^ "GOPAC endorses Tillis and Shannon in their bids for U.S. Senate". T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate. February 19, 2014. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  50. ^ Cahn, Emily (March 27, 2014). "Senate Conservatives Fund Endorses in Oklahoma Senate Race". Roll Call. Retrieved March 27, 2014. 
  51. ^ Fellow House Members Support T.W. Shannon for Senate - T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate - T.W. Shannon for U.S. Senate
  52. ^ a b "Official Results - Primary Election" (PDF). Oklahoma Secretary of State. July 7, 2014. Retrieved July 30, 2014. 
  53. ^ a b c "Candidates for Federal, State, Legislative and Judicial Offices" (PDF). Oklahoma State Election Board. April 11, 2014. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  54. ^ a b Mills, Russell (January 23, 2014). "Two possible Democrat contenders for Oklahoma US Senate seat". KRMG-FM. Retrieved January 31, 2014. 
  55. ^ Felder, Ben (April 8, 2014). "Johnson announces Democratic bid for U.S. Senate". Oklahoma Gazette. Retrieved April 8, 2014. 
  56. ^ "Retired federal worker to seek Coburn's U.S. Senate post". Tulsa World. February 4, 2014. Retrieved April 6, 2014. 
  57. ^ a b c d "Former US Rep. Dan Boren Won't Run For Tom Coburn's Senate Seat". News on 6. January 21, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014. 
  58. ^ "Green Country Lawyer Considering Senate Run". News 9 Oklahoma. January 23, 2014. Retrieved January 24, 2014. 
  59. ^ "Keating, Corn won't seek Okla. US Senate seat". Miami Herald. January 27, 2014. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  60. ^ John Gizzi (January 17, 2014). "Istook: Democrat Will Be 'Sacrificial Lamb' for Coburn Seat". Newsmax. Retrieved January 18, 2014. 
  61. ^ "Timeline Photos - Connie Johnson for US Senate". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  62. ^ "OK AFL-CIO COPE Endorsements – Oklahoma Primary Election to be held on 6/24/14 | Transport Workers Union Local 514". Twu514.org. 2014-06-17. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  63. ^ An editorial: Bipartisan June 24 Primary Endorsements | The City Sentinel
  64. ^ "editorial: For Connie Johnson in Democratic U.S. Senate race - Tulsa World: Editorials". Tulsa World. 2014-07-21. Retrieved 2014-07-25. 
  65. ^ "NORML PAC Endorses State Senator Connie Johnson for US Senate in Oklahoma". The Daily Chronic. 2014-07-29. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  66. ^ "Oklahoma Democratic Party endorses Johnson". Facebook. Retrieved 2014-07-31. 
  67. ^ "Runoff Primary Election". Oklahoma State Election Board. August 26, 2014. Retrieved September 8, 2014. 
  68. ^ a b Mark Beard (I)
  69. ^ "Oklahoma Secretary of State 2014 General Election". Oklahoma Secretary of State. November 4, 2014. Retrieved January 6, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Official campaign websites