Tuesday, September 01, 2020

Race of the Day- Oklahoma U.S. Senate

Oklahoma U.S. Senate

63 Days Until Election Day

Status: Republican Incumbent
2016 Presidential Result: Red State (South)

Outlook: Safe Republican

Long before Donald Trump came to Washington, Republican Jim Inhofe has been a derided fixture on the right. Having first arrived in the Senate in 1994, with either years in the House before that, the conservative is seeking another term which would begin when he is 86 years old. Many in the Oklahoma Republican Party and elsewhere had been assuming that Inhofe would not be running again in 2020, but in March he confirmed he would seek his fifth full term.

Even before arriving on Capitol Hill during the Reagan years, Inhofe had a long record in politics. He had been defeated in two straight general elections for Governor and Congress in the 1970s before becoming Mayor of Tulsa. A trained pilot, he has made headlines at times for landing where he was not supposed to. Sadly in 2013, his adult son died when piloting a plane solo for the first time.

Inhofe's decision to run again all but settled this race even though several candidates filed to oppose him in both parties. The incumbent took 74 percent in a June primary, which seems a bit low however. His closest opponent was a farmer named J.J. Stitt who took 15 percent of the vote. Perhaps some Republican primary voters were confusing this candidate with the current GOP Governor, whom J.J. claims to be a distant cousin of.

The Senior Senator from the Sooner State is the Chair of the Senate Environment Committee and a longtime skeptic of global warming. Many on the left would love nothing more than to see him defeated, but Oklahoma is just about as Republican as can be on the statewide level and he could pretty much cruise to reelection from his basement. Those who want to vote against him will be doing so as they always do, but there just are not enough of them in Oklahoma, willing to take a chance on a Democrat.

Democrats did choose Abby Broyles, a former television news reporter to face him. She cites Katie Couric as he professional inspiration. I do not know how many swing voters might be impressed by that but Broyles does look like she could be an afternoon Fox News Channel anchor.. In the primary, Broyles took 60 percent. far past what was necessary to avoid a runoff. Finishing in second place with 17 percent was Elysabeth Britt, who had run for Congress two years earlier. She claimed to be the first transgender individual ever to run for both the House and Senate.

About three weeks ago, Broyles made news when she was slightly injured in a hit and run car accident. The driver has since been arrested. She might not make much other news in this lightly focused upon race. At the age of 30, Broyles could practically be Inhofe's granddaughter. Oklahoma voters will be keeping the Senator where he is though, presumably into his 90s.

U.S. Senate races predicted thus far:

13 D (4 Safe, 3 Likely, 3 Lean, 3 Tossup) 
13 R (4 Safe, 4 Likely, 3 Lean, 2 Tossup)

Total with predictions thus far:

48 Democrats (35 holdovers, 4 Safe, 3 Likely, 3 Lean, 3 Tossup)
43 Republicans (30 holdovers, 4 Safe, 4 Likely, 3 Lean, 2 Tossup)


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