NORMAN — Republican candidates for president of the United States don't usually spend much time campaigning in Oklahoma, and why should they?
The Republican nominee has won the Sooner State's Electoral College votes in every election since 1968, and that doesn't figure to change anytime soon.
But if Mitt Romney wants to win the White House in November, he might consider spending a few Saturdays in Norman this fall.
Not to campaign, though.
The theme of The Oklahoman's annual football section, which comes out Sunday, is “Campaign 2012,” and it's filled with fun comparisons between OU, OSU, high school football and the political world, which this year, of course, features a hotly contested presidential election.
With our campaign-themed football section in mind, I've compiled research looking back at every season where there was both a presidential election and an Oklahoma football season.
OU fares far better overall in seasons where the Republican nominee is victorious, with an overall record of 119-27-7 (. 801 winning percentage), two national championships, nine conference titles and four undefeated seasons.
When the Democratic nominee wins, though, the Sooners are 78-49-10 (. 606 winning percentage) with no national titles, four conference titles and no unbeaten seasons.
Success has also been greater against top rivals with Republican wins in presidential elections years; During such seasons, the Sooners are 7-4-1 (. 625) in the Red River Rivalry and 13-1 (. 929) against Oklahoma State.
In Democratic years? OU is 3-9-1 (. 269) against the Longhorns, and 9-3-1 (. 731) vs. the Cowboys.
Romney further solidified his Oklahoma ties when he selected Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan's wife, Janna, is from Madill, and his dogs are named Boomer and Sooner.
Now, obviously, with the election being in November, it will be easier to use these numbers to predict who will win the election based on the Sooners' success, rather than the other way around.
So, if you believe in superstition, if the Sooners beat Texas and are unbeaten or close to it by the time of the election, it's safe to predict that Romney will unseat President Barack Obama.
But if Texas beats the Sooners, and OU's season isn't up to OU standards, the safe money is on a second Obama term.
Not surprisingly, the Democratic incumbent has shown past support for the Longhorns.
During the 2008 campaign, Longhorns coach Mack Brown and quarterback Colt McCoy led Obama on a tour of the stadium. The Longhorns beat the Sooners that year and, of course, Obama was elected president.
Obama returned to Austin, Texas, a couple years later for a speech, and opened by flashing the “Hook ‘Em Horns” hand signal and reminiscing on that stadium tour.
“I rubbed the locker room's Longhorns for good luck,” Obama said. “I'm just saying; it might have had something to do with how the election turned out. There might be a connection there.”
Indeed, Mr. President. Indeed.