as red as Utah and Wyoming?
In 2008, Oklahomans gave Republican presidential nominee John McCain his highest winning percentage in the country — 65.65 percent — which spawned the Oklahoma GOP boast of “reddest state in the nation.”
Oklahoma didn't exactly turn blue on Tuesday, but Utah and Wyoming were redder, at least in the presidential race. Utah — where, the Census Bureau reports, 62 percent of people are Mormon — gave 73 percent of the vote to Republican Mitt Romney, the first Mormon presidential nominee of a major party.
Wyoming, which gave McCain his second biggest margin in 2008, gave Romney 69 percent on Tuesday.
In Oklahoma, Romney won 67 percent of the vote.
Two years ago, The Oklahoman talked to Republican Party officials in Wyoming, Idaho and Utah — all of whom claimed that their states were the reddest. The Idaho official noted that Oklahoma couldn't make the claim since it still had a Democratic congressman. Voters in the 2nd District took care of that on Tuesday, electing Republican Markwayne Mullin to succeed Democratic Rep. Dan Boren.
Utah still has a Democratic member of Congress.
Mullin got more votes this year than Boren in '10
Republican Markwayne Mullin won all of the 26 counties in the eastern Oklahoma congressional district that has not been held by a Republican since it was redrawn after the 2000 census to consolidate Democratic counties. Mullin won counties on Tuesday that likely have never been captured by a Republican congressional candidate.
Mullin also bested, by a small amount, the percentage that retiring Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, got in his last race in the 2nd District. Boren got 56.5 percent in 2010; Mullin got 57.3 percent on Tuesday.
Boren decided to retire after his last race, at least in part because he knew how tough it would be to run in a district targeted by Republicans in a presidential election year with President Barack Obama at the top of the ballot.
“It wouldn't have been just a gimme election,” Boren said last year. “But I'm confident we would have been successful. It would have just been the constant slog.”
And though Obama's unpopularity in rural Oklahoma may have hindered Democrat Rob Wallace's bid to replace Boren, the president actually outperformed Wallace in three counties, including Cherokee County, where the Cherokee Nation is based.
Obama got 6,137 votes in Cherokee County, while Wallace got 6,021.
Mullin is a Cherokee. Cherokee Nation Chief Bill John Baker is a vocal supporter of Obama.
Oklahoma native holds Kennedy's Senate seat
By now, most people who followed the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts know that Democrat Elizabeth Warren is not an enrolled Cherokee.
But when she takes office in office in January, she will have this distinction: She'll be the only member of the U.S. Senate who was born in Oklahoma.
Neither of Oklahoma's senators was born in the state. Sen. Tom Coburn was born in Wyoming, and Sen. Jim Inhofe was born in Iowa. A check on the biographies of current and incoming senators found no others born in Oklahoma.
Warren, 63, was born and raised in Oklahoma City, and graduated from Northwest Classen High School.
The former Harvard professor has not lived in the state in decades but still visits family regularly.
Oklahomans chipped in $30,600 to her campaign (which raised more than $39 million). She got money from doctors, lawyers, business people and Oklahoma Bankers Association President Roger Beverage, who wound up a supporter despite once calling her the “anti-Christ” while she was setting up a consumer advocacy agency in Washington.
Warren will take over the Senate seat that long belonged to the late Ted Kennedy.