Oklahoma County could be key in U.S. Senate race
Since at least 1968, no U.S. Senate candidate has won a competitive primary or general election race without winning Oklahoma County, the home turf of Rep. James Lankford.
by Chris Casteel, NewsOK.com
WASHINGTON — With primary elections only about three weeks away, U.S. Rep. James Lankford would seem to hold a key advantage in the Republican contest to succeed U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn.
That advantage is Oklahoma County.
It’s like Ohio for Republican presidential candidates — no GOP nominee has won the presidency without taking Ohio since Abraham Lincoln.
Since at least 1968, no state candidate of either party has won a U.S. Senate seat or a contested primary for a U.S. Senate seat without carrying Oklahoma County.
Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, has represented most of Oklahoma County in Congress since 2011 and recent polls show him way ahead in the county, along with neighboring counties that aren’t in his congressional district but are in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area and media market.
State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton, and an independent group supporting his candidacy have recently made major television ad time purchases in the Oklahoma City media market hoping to close the gap in the area.