Poll shows US Senate candidates Brad Carson, Tom Coburn about even

Tuesday, September 21st 2004, 9:38 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A new poll shows Democratic Rep. Brad Carson and former Republican Rep. Tom Coburn about even in their U.S. Senate race.

The poll commissioned by Oklahoma City television station KWTV shows Carson with 41 percent support and Coburn with 40 percent support.

"It's going to be a dog fight all the way to the end," said Brad Luna, a spokesman for Carson's campaign. "We're planning on doing everything we can right up until the last moment the last polls close."

As recently as August, Coburn had a 9-point lead over Carson in a poll conducted by Wilson Research Strategies, which also administered the most recent poll.

"We're not worried about the numbers because we knew from day one this was going to be a close race," Coburn campaign spokesman Aaron Cooper said.

"As Dr. Coburn always likes to say, 'We're just concerned with the polls taken on election day."'

The poll released Monday is the third of nine weekly polls sponsored by KWTV and conducted by the Virginia-based company.

The poll of 500 Oklahoma registered voters was taken by telephone from Friday to Sunday and has a margin of error of 4.5 percentage points.

Carson picked up support from many conservative Democrats, said Chris Wilson, president of Wilson Research Strategies.

Wilson said that for Carson to maintain his support he will have to win over many who intend to vote for President Bush, who garnered 64 percent support in the recent poll. Bush had a lead of 40 percentage points over Democrat John Kerry.

"You're really seeing Bush start to pull away," Wilson said. "If Bush gets in the mid-60s, that could have a huge impact on down-ballot races. ... For Carson to win, he's going to have to get one in three Bush voters if Bush gets 65 percent."

Those in Carson's camp don't think that will be a problem, given their man's nonpartisan voting record.

"We expect full well to get a great majority of those folk who are going to be supporting President Bush," Luna said.

Other answers in the KWTV poll continued to show support for state questions establishing a lottery, legalizing casino-style gambling at horse racetracks and tribal casinos, adding a new cigarette tax and amending the state Constitution to outlaw gay marriage.