The number of Oklahoma's registered voters increased nearly 5.5 percent in the past year, with those identifying themselves as Republicans continuing their decades-long trend of showing the most growth, state election officials said Tuesday.
Democrats still outnumber Republicans, but their lead continues to shrink. Republicans showed a more than 3-to-1 net increase over Democrats in the past year.
The annual check of voter registration data on Jan. 15 shows Oklahoma had about 2.1 million registered voters, an increase of 115,576 compared with a year ago.
Republicans picked up the most voters, followed by independents and Democrats. Democrats still have the largest share of registered voters, 45.5 percent, compared with 42.4 percent for Republicans and 12.1 percent for independents. Democrats number 962,072, Republicans total 897,663 and independents total 256,450.
A year ago, Democrats numbered 943,283, Republicans had 828,257 and independents totaled 229,070.
Republicans in the past year had a net increase of 69,406 voters, while Democrats had a net increase of 18,789 and independents, who have seen their numbers also increase steadily, had a net increase of 27,380.
Republicans have been making gains for the past 50 years in Oklahoma. The last Democratic president to carry Oklahoma was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, failed to win any of the state's 77 counties both in 2008 and in 2012.
Twenty years ago, Democrats made up 63.7 percent of the registered voters.
A year ago, Democrats claimed 47.1 percent of the electorate.
Republicans made up 33.3 percent of all registered voters in 1993, growing to 41.4 percent of registered voters a year ago.
Independents grew from 3 percent of the voters in 1993 to 11.5 percent in 2012.
In 1980, Democrats made up 75.8 percent of registered voters in the state, while Republicans numbered 22.8 percent and independents totaled 1.4 percent.
Republicans won control of the House in the 2004 elections and gained control of the Senate for the first time in 2008, the last year Democrats made up at least half the number of registered voters. Democrats were at 50.1 percent, and Republicans were at 39.1 percent.
By 2010, when Republicans won all eight statewide positions on the ballot — giving the GOP control of the governor's office and the Legislature at the same time for the first time — Democrats made up 49 percent of the registered voters, and Republicans had 40.6 percent.