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A new poll shows Playboy Joe Dorman is only 2% behind Mary Fallin…

3:54 PM EDT on October 2, 2014

9 JB Dorman Bricktown Brewery

Oklahomans must have something for Playboy governors.

On the heels of tonight's first (and last) Oklahoma gubernatorial debate, Joe Dorman's campaign issued a press release touting a new poll that shows Mary Fallin's once seemingly insurmountable lead in the Governor's race is down to just 2%.

No fucking way, right?

With only 36 days remaining in the campaign, Joe Dorman, Democratic nominee for governor, is gaining ground as polls continue to show momentum. Both internal and external polls indicate that Dorman’s numbers continue to trend upward while his opponent cannot break 50 percent.

“The latest internal poll shows that we are in a statistical dead heat,” said Kendra Horn, Dorman’s Campaign Manager. “Joe is leading the way for our grassroots team to continue to work toward winning this election. Every day he travels across the state and demonstrates what it means to be a strong leader who is in touch with the people of Oklahoma. “

The poll, conducted by Tom Bonier of Clarity Campaign Labs, shows Dorman is within 2 points of the incumbent, Mary Fallin.

“I’m very excited to see the results of this latest poll. We show that Fallin is still under 50 percent and historically, an incumbent with such low numbers at this point does not win,” said Dorman. “We have worked tirelessly throughout this campaign to get to know the issues that are facing Oklahomans while Fallin has spent more time thinking about her Washington, D.C. cronies. Polls are only a strong indicator of a campaign’s success, but I’m confident if we keep up this momentum, I will be the next Governor of Oklahoma.”

Yeah, I'm not sure about that. I kind of like having Mary Fallin in the Governor's office and Hipster Boo Boo adoring beautiful things. Know how important that stuff is for our web traffic? If Joe Dorman were to win this thing, what tiresome topics would we fill this site with? We'd actually have to try again. That sucks.

That being said, that's awesome news. I'd simply suggest you take it with a grain of salt. The release by Joe's campaign reminds me of those days back in the 1990s when I'd read James Hale's OU Football preview in Sooners Illustrated or whatever. It was incredibly biased, overly optimistic, super positive, and smelled like propaganda, yet it always had me convinced that OU was going to win the National Championship.

Dorman's release essentially does the same damn thing. He's only 2% behind Mary Fallin!!! He has all the momentum!!! He's a five-star super recruit!!! National Title!!! Wishbone!!!

Seriously, sign me up for the kegger at the Governor's mansion this January. I'll be the guy in the hot tub sipping watermelon wine with Joleen Chaney.

Here's a memo released by the group that conducted the poll. It has a bit more info:

We surveyed 841 voters and matched the sample to the voter file, weighting it to reflect a midterm electorate. The margin of error is +/-3.74%.

Wait a second. If the press release was the equivalent of a James Hale write-up, that first line was like having Regular Jim Traber pour a bucket of ice-cold truth serum down your back. Weighted poll? What does that even mean? Is it good or bad. Please advise:

Our survey shows that Governor Fallin's decline in popularity and support that began late in 2013 has continued into September. The Governor's job approval is now net negative, with 46% of likely voters expressing disapproval of the job Mary Fallin is doing as governor, compared to 42% approving. The Governor enjoys high name ID, as one would expect with an incumbent, with only 5% of voters unfamiliar with Fallin.

Joe Dorman remains significantly less well-known than the Governor, with 37% of likely voters unfamiliar with him. Among those voters who registered an opinion, Representative Dorman enjoys strong ratings — 39% favorable, 25% unfavorable.

Unless you're a girl that he won't leave alone at the bar, how can you have unfavorable view of Joe Dorman? He's the perfect crossover candidate for our state. He loves god, guns and girls, wears boots, drives a pickup, and has facial hair from the 1990s, but he also thinks flunking thousands of third graders is a bad idea and that our state shouldn't turn down millions in federal healthcare funding just to make a political stance.

In the head to head contest, our survey finds Representative Dorman trailing Governor Fallin by 2% - 45% to 43% among likely voters, and 47% to 45% when including leaners. This result confirms that the Governor's decline in support has continued unabated over the past several months, and shows no sign of changing course.

It's worth noting that this 2% margin is well within the margin of error of the survey, making this race a statistical dead heat. What's more, history would suggest the Governor's re-election prospects are dim — in the 2010 election only one incumbent standing for reelection with a two-way polling average below 50% went on to win.

Okay, that's kind of like reading the part of the OU football preview where James Hale tells your some superstar high school recruit is going to lead the team in receiving and be an All American, while deep down you know he's probably going to masturbate in public or eat at Pickleman's.

Our survey demonstrates that the coalition Representative Dorman is assembling is quite ideologically diverse. His coalition is built on a strong lead with Independents, winning 18% crossover Republican voters, and a consolidated Democratic base.

Also encouraging is the composition of the 8% of likely voters who are undecided. These swing voters disapprove of Mary Fallin's performance as Governor by a 22% net margin. As Representative Dorman's name ID increases, it is likely that his vote share will increase.

Clarity Campaign Labs is an innovator and leader in the field of survey research and analytics. Current and former polling and
voter modeling clients include Senators Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Tim Koine, and John Tester, as well as NJ Majority Leader Lou Greenwald, NJ Senate President Steve Sweeney, Jean Schodorf for Secretary of State (KS), John Carney for Auditor (OH), Speaker Armond Budish (OH), and The New Republic Magazine.

I'll be honest with you, I usually depend on Nate Silver to break down this polling stuff, so I have no clue if any this is legitimate or not. For now, though, I'm going to dream big just like James Hale had me do back in the 1990s. Joe Dorman's going to win it all!

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