In order to fully understand how the two top candidates for governor this year are impacting voters, SoonerPoll.com partnered with News 9/News On 6 and performed a dial test of the candidates speaking at the 'From Now On' debate held Oct. 11.
In the video above, the 'red' line represents Republican. The 'blue' line represents Democrat. The 'yellow' line represents Independent.
First, we evaluate how likely voters, broken down by political party, respond to Drew Edmondson talking about the budget cuts that state agencies have experienced during the state budget deficits of the last few years.
Edmondson performs well with Democrats when discussing the agency cuts and that they need to be restored, and Independents are not that far behind with their positive responses ranging in the 60 percent range, but what is most interesting is the positive responses of Republicans that stay in the positive range above 50 for the entire time of Edmondson speaking. It is important to note here that Republicans, who typically prefer smaller government, see that government has endured budget cuts over the last few years and join other voters in wanting to make sure the level of governmental services will not be impacted by those budget cuts.
As Kevin Stitt begins to talk about the state government being "open for business" if elected, Republicans begin to immediately respond positively and zoom quickly to over 77 percent as he outlines Oklahoma's strategic advantages of location, low utility prices, land, and natural resources.
Independent voters and Democrats, however, are not moved by this language as the results for both groups fall into negative territory before barely breaking into the positive near the end. Of note is the sudden drop with Democrats as Stitt mentions that we need a governor who knows how to talk to CEOs.
Read all of Bill Shapard's 'Dial Test' stories from the 2018 Oklahoma election:
Dial Test: Republicans, Independents Respond Well To Edmondson's Debate-Closing Remarks
Dial Test: Stitt's CEO-Speak Doesn't Appeal Beyond Republican Base
Dial Test: Voters React To Stitt's Call To Appoint Agency Heads
Dial Test: Edmondson Earns High Marks From Women, Independents On Education Funding
Bill Shapard is CEO of SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s only independent non-partisan polling firm, and the pollster of record for News9 and Newson6. In 2014, Nate Silver’s 538 rated SoonerPoll the best pollster in Oklahoma and among the top ten percent best pollsters in the nation. Bill is also a frequent contributor and on-air political expert for News9 and Newson6.