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« Strategy Memo: Issues Matter | Blog Home Page | Slattery Talks Up Poll »

Inhofe In Good Shape

Senator Jim Inhofe is leading his Democratic opponent by a wide margin, a new poll shows, though national Democrats remain hot on their candidate, a young up-and-comer who, even if he falls short this year, could prove to be a contender in the future. Still, Inhofe looks like a safe bet to win a third full term.

The poll, conducted for DailyKos by Research 2000, surveyed 600 likely voters between 6/9-11, for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Inhofe and State Senator Andrew Rice were tested within a sample consisting of 43% Democrats, 41% Republicans and 16% independents and others. The presidential contest was tested as well.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind / Men / Wom)
Inhofe......53 / 22 / 85 / 54 / 57 / 49
Rice.........31 / 62 / 5 / 15 / 30 / 32

McCain....52 / 20 / 84 / 55 / 56 / 46
Obama....38 / 70 / 7 / 33 / 36 / 44

Despite the big lead, Inhofe's personal ratings aren't stellar. Just 47% of Oklahomans have a favorable impression of him, while 45% view him unfavorably. 39% say they will definitely vote to re-elect Inhofe, the third-ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee and ranking Republican on the Environment & Public Works Committee, while 28% say they would vote to replace him.

Rice, on the other hand, is barely known; 32% see him in a positive light, while 16% say they don't see him favorably. The remaining 52% of the electorate has no opinion of the Democrats' likely nominee.

Inhofe has never won massive victories in Oklahoma; he beat well-known Democrats by wide margins, taking a seventeen-point win in his first bid for a full term, in 1996, and a twenty-one point win in 2002. But in both cases, Inhofe won 57% of the vote, far below the 66% President Bush won in 2004 and slightly below the 60% he took in 2000 in the state.