The Oklahoman endorsed Rep. James Lankford (R) over former state House Speaker T.W. Shannon (R) just before the primary, writing that Lankford would better “uphold the Coburn standard.” (The Oklahoman) Polls close at 8 p.m. tonight.
“The national tea-party machinery is squarely behind Shannon. The contest, which could be headed to a runoff, also carries broader implications for a Republican Party looking to shed its image as being led mostly by old white men. … But this is not a typical tea-party-versus-establishment fight. It’s a complicated struggle featuring two candidates who blur the lines between the competing corners of the GOP and are reluctant to identify exclusively with either one. Lankford is a member of the House GOP leadership who has a strong base of religious conservative supporters built from his time outside politics running the largest Christian youth camp in the country. Shannon is not a member of Congress, but he used to work for two of them.”
“‘I think it’s advantage Lankford,’ said Mike McCarville, an Oklahoma political blogger, who added that he ‘could see Lankford winning without a runoff’ but does not see Shannon doing that.” (Washington Post)
Once again, some local tea party groups are angry with the national ones that have backed Shannon in the race without consulting them. (Washington Examiner)