Senate Conservatives Fund launches ad in Oklahoma Senate race

A national conservative group that’s endorsed former Oklahoma Speaker T.W. Shannon for Senate there is launching a new ad touting him as part of a “new generation of conservative leaders.”

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The ad, from the Senate Conservatives Fund, slams Shannon’s main opponent for the GOP nomination for the seat, Rep. James Lankford (R-Okla.), as a “Washington insider.”

“Washington insiders like James Lankford will never change Washington. Wasteful spending, trillions in new debt,” a narrator says. “It has to stop.” 

The narrator adds that “that’s why we need” Shannon.

“He's a reformer, looking to join the fight, not the club,” the ad declares.

The ad is running on a $130,000 buy in the Oklahoma City market through the June 24 primary — the area of the state where Shannon most needs to cut into Lankford's lead if he hopes to make it to the runoff.

Shannon has positioned himself as the conservative alternative to Lankford in the race, who’s drawn criticism from conservative groups for his willingness to work with leadership.

And he’s picked up a handful of big-name conservative endorsements, including that of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

A new survey out on Wednesday from a group supporting his bid showed a tight race, with Shannon lagging Lankford by 2 points, with 37 percent support to Lankford's 39 percent support. But that's a considerable decline in support for Shannon from the group's last poll, conducted in April, which showed him up 10 over Lankford.

With a third candidate in the primary, many political observers expect it to head to a runoff in two weeks, at which point the landscape of the race is likely to shift. 

—This piece was corrected at 6:40 to reflect Shannon's actual polling numbers.