The Norman Transcript

Editorials

June 20, 2014

The negatives have it

NORMAN — A reader asked why so many negative political advertisements are appearing in this year’s primary election. They are being aired because they work. But it’s usually a dispute between members of different political parties. Party members often show respect for each other and then rally behind each other once the November ballot is ready.

That’ll be hard to do in some of our statewide political races. The venom being spewed in the GOP primary for the unexpired U.S. Senate term and the state school superintendent race is getting out of hand. This weekend might be a good time to stay away from the television and the telephone.

The contest to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn appears to have taken a turn for the worse. Outside groups supporting Mr. Lankford and fellow frontrunner T.W. Shannon have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative ads.

We’re not seeing much activity from the other five contestants. It may backfire, as Coburn has come out against the advertisements. In an interview with The Daily Oklahoman, Dr. Coburn called some of the advertisements unfair and inaccurate.

“They are wrong and should be rejected by Oklahomans,” he told the newspaper.

The real question will be whether former state Sen. and gubernatorial candidate Randy Brogdon can generate enough traction to force a runoff vote between Shannon and Lankford. If that happens, we’re in for eight more weeks of negative ads.

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