Oklahoma’s Republican presidential primary is a race for second place, according to two recent polls that show Donald Trump with a commanding lead.
Polls released in the past two days by SoonerPoll and Monmouth University show more than 35 percent of Republican primary voters will go for Trump in Oklahoma, giving him a double-digit lead in the state over his closest contender. Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are in a race for second place, separated by fewer than three percentage points.
Sooner Poll (Margin of error – 4.2%)
• Marco Rubio – 23.7%
• Ted Cruz – 20.8%
• Ben Carson – 10.4%
• John Kasich – 6.6%
Monmouth University Poll (Margin of error – 4.9%)
• Donald Trump – 35%
• Ted Cruz – 23%
• Marco Rubio – 22%
• John Kasich 8%
• Ben Carson – 7%
Bill Shapard, chief operating officer of SoonerPoll, said polling showed many Oklahoma Republicans are throwing their support behind Trump because he is a political outsider.
Republican voters appear to value a candidate who can bring change over a candidate who can win in November.
Trump has strong support among men, women, evangelicals and residents in each congressional district.
“Trump hits on all key metrics,” Shepard said. “He’s channeling their anger, represents their quest for a political outsider and shows he can get things done.”
Poll results also show Ted Cruz lost support among evangelical after the Iowa caucus.
Shapard said that’s because evangelicals turned against Cruz for his perceived dirty election tactics in the Hawkeye State, where he claimed Carson dropped out of the race.
Instead, Oklahoma’s evangelicals appeared destined for Trump.
“Now, there is nothing evangelical about Donald Trump,” Shapard said. “They are not going for evangelical values. They’re just looking for other values they support.”