The special election for the open U.S. Senate seat in Oklahoma is shaping up to be a two man race between Markwayne Mullin and T.W. Shannon.   While T.W. is positioned to make a run-off, the 2nd place position puts him in a unique situation-having to manage three fronts:

  • Continue to grow and strengthen name ID, brand and polling position
  • Make sure Mr. Mullin does not get over 50%
  • Being aware that everyone below him will gun for his 2nd slot making him the most likely candidate to get hit in the final weeks

Therefore, the campaign is choosing to invest its resources in two markets: Oklahoma City and Lawton.

Oklahoma City makes up a majority of voters and T.W. Shannon can win the DMA.  The combination of his ballot share, awareness plus the high amount of undecideds make it ripe for the picking.  The campaign hopes to amplify the positive advertising done by the PAC with a strong ad on the issue that is most important to voters in the state: illegal immigration.  The combination of campaign and PAC positive advertising in the DMA will create a powerful message—this is the top priority. Quite frankly, winning the DMA will punch a ticket to the run-off.  When voters in Oklahoma City see they have an alternative to Markwayne Mullin-they will take the alternative.  That person is TW Shannon and we all need to be strong there. Furthermore, a strong Shannon showing in the DMA makes it nearly impossible for Markwayne Mullin to cross 50%.

Lawton is T.W.’s home DMA, her represented the area and is well known.  Our decision to advertise in the final days should allow us to handle the DMA and put up strong numbers and give us some key extra votes.

Of course, this creates a campaign hole in Tulsa.  Markwayne Mullin is extremely well known there, has strong ballot share, all other candidates call the DMA “home” and low undecides makes it difficult for the campaign to invest its resources in the DMA.  One would assume as other campaigns have resources in the final weeks they will spend in the market.  The PAC should monitor the DMA and be prepared to potentially invest there  the final 7-10 days if vitally needed.  But to be clear, the path to the run-off goes through Oklahoma City.