TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A new poll says U.S. Rep. Steve Largent would beat former lieutenant governor Jack Mildren and businessman Vince Orza with more than 40 percent of the vote if an election for governor were held now.
The Oklahoma Poll, conducted June 29-July 11, included 750 Oklahomans statewide. The Tulsa World-sponsored survey was conducted by Consumer Logic.
Mildren and Orza, who have previously run for governor, have been mentioned as possible Democratic opponents of Largent.
Largent has announced he will leave his House seat Nov. 29 to devote his time to the governor's race.
Tulsa attorney Gary Richardson, who is running as an Independent, also was included in the survey. The poll says he would get 5 percent of the vote in a race against Orza and Largent.
Poll results were similar whether Largent runs against Mildren and Richardson or against Orza and Richardson, said poll consultant, Al Soltow, director of research at the University of Tulsa.
Asked who those surveyed would vote for if Mildren were the Democratic Party candidate for governor, 44 percent said Largent, 23 percent chose Mildren and 6 percent favored Richardson.
The margin of error rate was plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
Asked who they would vote for if Orza were the Democratic Party candidate, 43 percent said Largent, 22 percent went for Orza and 5 percent picked Richardson.
The margin of error rate was 3.5 percentage points.
The winner will succeed Gov. Frank Keating, who is barred by law from seeking a third consecutive term.
The poll also shows Republican U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe holds a 4-3 lead against former governor David Walters in a race for his seat.
Inhofe led Walters by a margin of 45 percent to 32 percent with 23 percent not taking a position.
Inhofe served two terms in the U.S. Senate and has been a member of the U.S. House and the Oklahoma Legislature. He is a former Tulsa mayor.
Tulsans favored Inhofe by a 56 percent to 31 percent margin. In Oklahoma City, he led by 48 percent to 33 percent. And in the rest of the state, he led 37 percent to 32 percent.
Inhofe received his largest support from men. Walters had more backing among women, the poll said.