Wow! No one predicted such a big win, but there it is -- 61% for Tom Coburn and clear sailing into the general election. I'll look forward to seeing the county-by-county breakdown. The heavily Republican midtown precincts I checked tonight -- including four within walking distance of Humphreys' Tulsa HQ -- gave Coburn three times as many votes as Humphreys.

I stopped by the Coburn watch party, just missing the candidate as he headed off to Muskogee to finish the evening. The mood among Coburn supporters was one of pride in such a big win, but with an undercurrent of satisfaction to see the purveyor of filth brought low.

There was a lot of amused comment when Humphreys praised Coburn in his concession speech -- tonight he says Tom Coburn is a good man, 24 hours ago he said we can't trust Tom Coburn. Humphreys is through, politically, not because of how badly he lost, but because of his decision to distort Tom Coburn's record in order to win. As I said Monday morning on KFAQ, Humphreys not only shot himself in the foot, he blew his foot clean off.

There's a lesson here about not jumping on the bandwagon. The reason so many Republican politicians endorsed Kirk Humphreys so early in the campaign was fear of being the last to join the Humphreys team. If he's going to be the Senator, you want to be able to remind him that you were with him from the beginning. But inevitability isn't what it's cracked up to be, and the people who held off on endorsements until the full field of candidates was in place are looking foresighted right now. It would be nice if the lesson would take hold and persist through the 2006 governor's race and the 2008 presidential primaries.

It was interesting to see in the SurveyUSA poll that Coburn did nearly as well among voters who describe themselves as "pro-choice" as voters who take the label of pro-life. Coburn is known for his principled stance on social issues, but clearly his principled stance on fiscal policy has won him admirers who disagree with him on other points.

I was amazed at Mike Mazzei's strong win in Senate 25. I really had the impression that Loudermilk, Gorman, and Hastings had all run strong races as well -- they were impressive in the candidate forums I attended. Mazzei began knocking on doors in his district about a year ago, with the aim of reaching every Republican household twice before the primary. Those who spent time in the south Tulsa neighborhoods in that district were not surprised -- you saw Mazzei signs in yards, everyone else's signs on the right of way.

Dan Sullivan had a very strong showing in House 71, although a 100 votes shy of an outright win. There's some talk that Misti Rice, who finished a distant second, may follow Cathy Keating's classy example and step aside to prevent a runoff, giving Dan a running start at Democratic incumbent Roy McClain.

Very happy to see John Wright returned to office and Sue Tibbs with a big primary victory. They're both solid and articulate conservatives and we need them as leaders as the House transitions to Republican leadership.

I was pleased to see David Schaffer's solid win in House 78. I've gotten to know David over the last few months, and he will make a great legislator. He's a solid social and fiscal conservative, with some ideas for making Oklahoma a better place to do business. He'll be up against Jeannie McDaniel, a close associate of former Mayor Susan Savage, and still on the City of Tulsa payroll in the Public Works department. Jeannie served up Jeff Platter on a platter. Platter had a clever slogan ("let a Platter serve you"), but it was impossible to read on his eyewatering yard signs. This district is evenly split in terms of voter registration, so this will be a closely-watched race.

Belated note to Tim Gilpin -- consultants say a mustache loses you about 6% of the vote. (A beard only costs you 4%.) That's about the margin of victory for Tom Adelson. My gut tells me that Gilpin did better in the blue collar part of the district, while Adelson prevailed in the blue-blood precincts. It will be interesting to see if the results validate the gut feeling. The result is probably a disappointment for Dewey Bartlett, who probably would have picked up a lot of Adelson's support had he lost. Still, Dewey won big and he's got a great shot at winning in November. Nancy Rothman seems to have spent a lot of money on yardsigns at the last minute. I wonder how many candidates get into the race thinking all they need to do is show up at candidate forums and put out yard signs.

I could write more, but I'm tired.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on July 28, 2004 1:20 AM.

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