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Oklahoma state voters’ choices no surprise

BY MICHAEL McNUTT and JULIE BISBEE Published: November 9, 2008
Although some states embraced a Democratic agenda, Oklahoma voters clung to conservative values, supporting the Republican candidate for president and adding Republican seats in the House and Senate.

The addition of two seats gave Republicans the majority in the Senate for the first time in state history. Republicans and Democrats had been tied at 24 since 2006. House Republicans picked up four seats in the 101-member chamber. Republicans now enjoy a 61 to 40 majority.

For longtime political observers in Oklahoma, there are no surprises in those historic gains.

"Oklahoma in 2008 acted like Oklahoma in 2004,” said Keith Gaddie, a University of Oklahoma political science professor. "The level of support is just as high for McCain as it was for President Bush.”

No Democratic presidential candidate has won Oklahoma since Lyndon Johnson in 1964, but Ivan Holmes, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, said he thought Democrats in state and legislative races would fare better this year.

President-elect Barack Obama’s failure to carry a single county in the state is distressing, Holmes said, but Democratic presidential contender John Kerry also failed to win a single Oklahoma county four years ago.

Obama received more support in 77 percent of counties

President-elect Obama

outpolled 2004


nominee John

Kerry in suburbs,

cities and rural

areas, according

to an


Press analysis.

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