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Campaigns Turn Nasty as Oklahoma’s Runoff Elections Approach
Thursday, August 23, 2018 7:00 AM

With Oklahoma’s runoff election just days away, some key races have taken a decidedly negative turn. Nowhere is it more evident than the contest to secure the Republican nomination for governor.

In recent weeks, public polling has indicated the race between former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt was too close to call. However, new attack ads released by Cornett supporters could indicate the scales have tipped in Stitt’s favor.

The ad says "Kevin Stitt's a phony conservative" and "Stitt pumped thousands of dollars into a DC political group that propped up liberals Nancy Pelosi and Maxine Waters."

The latest attack ad is paid for by the group “Oklahoma Values,” not the Cornett campaign.

Oklahoma Credit Union Association President Nate Webb says the decision to go this negative this late means the Cornett campaign is worried. “It’s a Hail Mary. More than likely, internal polling shows the race trending in Stitt’s direction.” 

But Webb says the negative strategy is often effective. “Ask any voter, and almost to a person they will tell you they hate negative campaign ads, but they work. If executed properly, they really do move the needle, especially with voters who remain undecided. These types of ads are designed to shift allegiance; they are targeted almost exclusively at likely voters who still don’t know who they will vote for.”

Early voting begins tomorrow.