Trump Backed GOP Governor Losing To Dem In Oklahoma

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Joy Hofmeister, the Democratic nominee for governor in Oklahoma this year, is leading incumbent Republican Kevin Stitt, an infamous anti-abortion zealot, by four percent in a new survey from SoonerPoll, which conducted the poll for a pair of Oklahoma news outlets.

Hofmeister secured 46.8 percent of the support, which rounds, of course, to 47 percent, while Stitt nabbed 43 percent. The Democratic contender’s leading margin is within the poll’s margin of error. Hofmeister isn’t just an outsider hoping for an upset victory in the Republican-leaning state. She is a former Republican who already won statewide elections — twice, having served as the state Superintendent of Public Instruction since early 2015. She has also expressly shared support for abortion rights, which puts her directly at odds with Stitt, who has signed strict bans on abortion and indicated support for banning abortion to the point he said he’d sign anything fashioned to do so that legislators approved. Abortion is now banned across pregnancy in the state of Oklahoma with rare exceptions, mirroring similarly broad restrictions in the neighboring state of Texas.

Stitt was among Republican state officials who took action to restrict abortion before the U.S. Supreme Court actually formally overturned Roe. He signed a total abortion ban into law in May. After the new poll, Hofmeister expressed confidence in her prospects. “We launched this campaign one year ago today, and I’m proud to have earned the support of many Oklahoma veterans, parents, teachers and business leaders,” she said. “Through it all, my reason for running has never changed. I believe Oklahoma belongs to the people, and by working together we can achieve more for our families.” In the poll, she is viewed significantly more favorably by Oklahomans than Stitt. Roughly 45 percent indicated a favorable view of Stitt — while nearly 54 percent shared an unfavorable one. For Hofmeister, although the portion unsure was slightly higher, a full 50.7 percent indicated a favorable view, while 43.3 percent shared an unfavorable one, meaning unlike Stitt, more respondents indicated a favorable view than an unfavorable perspective.

Other high-profile governor’s races this year include the contests in Michigan and Pennsylvania, both of which are swing states where Trump-aligned Republicans are running and, if successful, could exert troubling control over their respective states’ electoral processes.