OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Cook Political Report shifted their rating of the Oklahoma race for governor from “Solid R” to “Likely R.”

Jessica Taylor, Governors Editor for the newsletter, said that she looks at local polling and campaign spending when determining the rank.

“Given the spending disparity and the outside groups that are backing Hofmeister and attacking Governor Stitt, it really seemed notable,” said Taylor.

The editor noted that local Oklahoma polling shows Governor Stitt with a slight lead, by only a few points. She said Joy Hofmeister, the Democratic challenger to the governor and current State Superintendent, has name recognition from Republicans because she won as a Republican twice already.

“She is in a more unique position than I think a traditional long time Democrat would be in in a state like Oklahoma,” said Taylor.

However, a shift to “Likely R” is not strong enough to sway the expectation of the race.

“It’s not in a category we consider competitive,” admitted Taylor. “Oklahoma should still overall favor Republicans.”

Richard Johnson, political science professor at Oklahoma City University, agreed that polling is just a snapshot of any given time.

“I think it’s a moment in polling that might be better for the Democratic candidates than perhaps it will be in two or four weeks,” said Johnson.

He said Democrats should not get their hopes up so soon. But the professor acknowledged education as a key issue in the race for Governor.

“Education is the primary function of state government. It’s where the majority of the money goes,” said Johnson.

Johnson tied Governor Stitt’s and Hofmeister’s chances of winning with the outcome of the State Superintendent race.

Ryan Walters, current Education Secretary, is running to take Joy Hofmeister’s seat. Governor Stitt endorsed him throughout the primary season.

Jena Nelson is the Democratic candidate. Nelson and Hofmeister are among a handful of women leading the Democratic party heading into November.

Walters has been a proponent of “school choice” vouchers, allowing parents to use taxpayer money to send their kids to private schools. A program that Hofmeister and Nelson argue hurts rural schools.

Johnson sees Walters’ position as a potential issue.

“He’s a controversial candidate. You know, he had a really tough, tough primary and I think may be vulnerable on some issues,” said Johnson.