By M. Scott Carter

Transcript Staff Writer

This year, it’s all about you — and them.

How much do you spend for gas? Has the government tried to take their property away? Has someone, here illegally, taken your job?

Are their kids getting a good education?

Are you better off now than you were a few years ago?

They want to know.

And they want you to know that they can do something about it.

They are the candidates for local, county, state and federal office and they are coming soon to an election near you.

With the July 25 primary just four weeks away, political hopefuls are moving full speed to introduce themselves and sway voters.

Armed with polling data, money and ideas, most candidates will spend the next 34 days telling the voters who they are and where they stand on a few carefully selected issues.

For Republicans, the goal is be as conservative as possible — think Ronald Reagan. “Republican themes will hit on immigration, tax cuts and Christian values,” said Don Hoover, a campaign consultant. “They will play as far to the right as possible.”

For Democrats, the goal is outreach and the middle ground — a replay of Bill Clinton. “Democrats want to talk about investing in the future and, to a lesser degree, bipartisanship,” he said.

The goal, Hoover said, is to get the undecided voter to pay attention. And those voters are only about half-listening. “Right now the undecided voter isn’t too focused on the campaign — yet. But, slowly, they are beginning to pay attention.”

To turn those heads, candidates will need money — lots and lots of money. “It takes resources to campaign,” he said. “Especially on a statewide level.”

While some hopefuls have already started their advertising, many candidates are still aggressively raising money and seeking out media and press attention. “Of course, any attention helps,” Hoover said. “To win you have to reach those who haven’t made up their mind.”

And whether it’s a discussion about immigration or how well one candidate can work with another, over the next few weeks, Oklahoma voters could find themselves afloat in a sea of political information.

With everything from the Internet to the local newspaper a possible means of communication, candidates will be fighting hard for attention — from you and them.

M. Scott Carter


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