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Local & Regional

Trump’s Fundraising in Oklahoma Eclipses Clinton’s for First Time

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Donald Trump has a new reason to believe that deep-red Oklahoma will swing his way as the presidential campaign accelerates into the final months.

Federal Election Commission filings released recently show that June was the first time the Republican presidential nominee has raised more money in the state than his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

Until that month, the latest for which campaign finance data is available, Clinton had outpaced Trump in contributions from Oklahomans every month since April 2015. In fact, from January 2015 to January 2016, Clinton raised more money in the state than the five Republicans who remained in the race early this year. Trump came in second to Ted Cruz in the GOP primary.

In June, Trump reported raising $113,685 in individual contributions from Oklahoma donors, compared with Clinton's $93,408. Trump's previous monthly high was in May, when he received just under $14,000.

A Democrat hasn’t carried Oklahoma in the presidential election since Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Clinton still far exceeds Trump in total amount raised in the state since January 2015, at $1.2 million compared to Trump's $159,000. Like Trump, June was Clinton’s largest fundraising haul in Oklahoma.  Clinton lost to Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.

The fundraising numbers for July won’t be released until Aug. 20.

Trump has struggled to win over many prominent Republicans nationally since his campaign began to take off. In early May, Gov. Mary Fallin endorsed Trump, and Republican megadonors are expected to start bundling donations and pumping in funds themselves, if they haven’t already. Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee added more than 80 fundraising leaders in late June, including Larry Nichols, co-founder of Devon Energy Corp.

A May poll by Cole, Hargrave, Snodgrass and Associates showed Trump leading Clinton, 48 percent to 28 percent, in the state.

The last general-election forecast by Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight group gave Clinton a one-in-250 chance of winning Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that produces in-depth and investigative journalism on a range of public-policy issues facing the state. For more Oklahoma Watch content, go to www.oklahomawatch.org