WASHINGTON — Republican presidential nominee John McCain got his biggest victory margin in Oklahoma on Tuesday, winning every county in the state in results that mirrored those of 2004. McCain, the Arizona senator who lost the election to Democratic Sen. Barack Obama, got 65.6 percent of the vote in Oklahoma. That just edged the 65.2 percent margin that Wyoming gave McCain. According to the Washington Post, Oklahoma was the only state in which Obama didn’t win a single county. McCain won 21 states Tuesday. Two others, Missouri and North Carolina, still were listed as being too close to call as of Wednesday evening. Exit polls of Oklahoma voters showed McCain carried every age and income group and got about two-thirds of the vote from both male and female voters. He got 71 percent of all white voters. McCain got 95 percent of the vote from those identifying themselves as Republicans, while Obama got 67 percent of the vote from those identifying themselves as Democrats, according to the polls.
Comparisons to 2004In 2004, President Bush also got 65.6 percent of the vote in Oklahoma and also won every county in his race against Democratic Sen. John Kerry. But in some Democrat-heavy areas in eastern Oklahoma, Obama got substantially less than Kerry. Former Vice President Al Gore won nine counties in eastern Oklahoma when he lost to Bush in 2000. In 1996, former President Clinton won 38 counties in Oklahoma. Obama did not fare well in Oklahoma’s Democratic primary in February, when Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton carried every congressional district in the state. Keith Gaddie, a University of Oklahoma political science professor who has been involved in polling in the race this year, said the results on Tuesday tracked closely with pre-election surveys of voters. Gaddie noted that nearly 54 percent of those polled after voting on Tuesday were identified as white evangelicals. "Those folks are just very conservative,” he said. "They made up their minds early.” He noted that Obama got more of the white vote in Oklahoma than in states like Alabama and Louisiana and said McCain’s margin of victory was not about race. "It is a deeply ingrained social identity that is disproportionately present in Oklahoma,” he said. U.S. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore, who has held key political positions at the state and national levels, said the results were "not racial at all.” Cole said former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts, a black Republican, had won statewide office (as a corporation commissioner) before enjoying large margins of victory in his congressional races. He said McCain, a veteran viewed by some as a maverick, had "unique appeal” in Oklahoma, while Obama was viewed as liberal and inexperienced. "Oklahoma is clearly trending very Republican,” Cole said. "Liberal national Democrats are not where we’re going to go.” U.S. Rep. Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, who avoided making a public endorsement of Obama, called his victory "historic” on Wednesday and said, "You have to take great pride in the fact that the color barrier has been broken for the highest office in the land — the world, really.” Boren’s district, though heavily Democratic, went overwhelmingly for McCain at the polls. Boren said the results of Tuesday’s race "came as no surprise to me.” Reaction From experts Oklahoma’s Congress members say they hope Barack Obama will "govern from the center.”
A look at how Oklahoman's voted in major races, broken down by county