Oklahoma voters bucked the national trend in the presidential election, but there are islands of blue among the sea of red that colors the state electoral map. That’s according to The Oklahoman’s analysis of precinct-level voting results across the state. By all measures, Sen. John McCain won handily in Oklahoma, taking every county and giving the Republican candidate his largest percentage total among U.S. states. In Oklahoma, McCain won 2,005 precincts. President-elect Barack Obama won 198 precincts statewide. The candidates tied in five precincts. Geographically, the picture looks a little different. Obama had his strongest showing in heavily populated urban precincts in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Norman and Lawton. He also picked up pockets of support in the eastern part of Oklahoma from Okemah to Pryor. McCain trounced his opponent everywhere else. "If you look at the urban areas, these are classic urban voting patterns,” said Keith Gaddie, a political science professor at the University of Oklahoma. "The Democratic concentrations were in minority precincts and in both older working class suburbs and older affluent suburbs.”
Voting patternsBy contrast, newer suburbs in urban areas voted heavily for McCain. The same was true in rural precincts statewide, Gaddie said. Historically, Oklahoma voting patterns fell into three sections running diagonally across the state, he said. Republicans drew voters in the west and Panhandle, Democrats in the southeast, with the middle more mixed but leaning Republican. Now, it appears Republicans gained in the southeastern and rural areas. Democrats picked up support in the urban middle band of the state, he said. "This tier of counties with heavy Democratic Party registration that went for McCain lay outside the Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Lawton media markets,” said Gaddie, who is working on a book about Oklahoma voting patterns called "Red State Rising.” The analysis also found 24 precincts where no votes were cast in the presidential race. Oklahoma County Election Board Secretary Doug Sanderson said most of them tended to be precincts with few or no registered voters. Some others include industrial or military land such as Tinker Air Force Base or Fort Sill. "It’s not like we had a poll worker in those precincts hoping and praying that a couple of voters would show up on Election Day,” Sanderson said of the precincts with no presidential votes.
DATABASE: Search by precinct in the Oklahoma presidential race