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Scissor Tales: In Oklahoma, support for Obama sinks even more

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: March 10, 2012

WHO is Jim Rogers?

The question isn't of the magnitude of the one posed in “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand: “Who is John Galt?” But it was a question on the minds of pundits outside Oklahoma.

How could an incumbent president avoid winning in two congressional districts in his own party's primary? How could Barack Obama not carry 15 counties in a contest in which only Democrats voted? How could this mysterious Jim Rogers and Randall Terry, a fiercely anti-abortion candidate, get enough support to actually earn delegates?

Yes, the turnout was low and Obama supporters had no particular reason to vote in Tuesday's primary. The president is assured of the nomination. Still, we'd expect an incumbent president to win every county. But this is the state in which not a single county supported Obama in the 2008 general election.

The Rogers surname always gets votes in Oklahoma elections. Terry is another matter. The Big Tent Party has little room for candidates who don't walk the abortion-rights walk. Like Ron Paul on the GOP side, Terry knows he has zero chance. But candidate status gives him a pass on pro-life advertising restrictions.

Obama's interest in Oklahoma, already low, just dropped lower. Democrats in the only congressional district represented by a Democrat rejected the president. This may rate an Atlas-sized shrug now but it shows that support for Obama isn't universal even among Democrats. Obama will definitely be nominated but a second term is hardly definite.

No excuse

Weather couldn't be blamed. The dog didn't eat the ballot. So state Democratic Party officials had to find something else to finger for the fact that Barack Obama managed to lose 15 counties in Tuesday's presidential primary and came in third in some of those counties. The blame for an incumbent president's 57 percent finish statewide in a five-man race officially went to low turnout. By contrast, incumbent George H.W. Bush took 70 percent of the Republican vote in 1992, also in a five-man race, and won all the delegates up for grabs. Unless party officials can find a way around it, Obama will have to share Oklahoma's delegate count with Randall Terry and Jim Rogers. Urban Democrats, even in Oklahoma, still like Obama. But look for their rural counterparts to join Republicans and independents in supporting the GOP nominee in November. There's no excuse for the president's unpopularity here.

Wired for unsound

Heard the joke about the Chevy Volt? It was subjected to a battery of tests and all of them came out negative. The electric car, a darling of the fossil fuel-averse Obama administration, didn't quite go the way of Solyndra, another administration flight of fancy, but it has been put in neutral. General Motors suspended sales after a rash of bad news over battery fires and slumping demand. Not to worry: America's first plug-in vehicle is a hit in Europe, where it was recently named Car of the Year. “Battery-operated cars are electrifying environmentalists, progressives and award-givers,” noted the New York Daily News. “The only ones who aren't juiced about them, it seems, are autobuyers.” The Volt is so politically correct that you can legally drive one solo on California freeway lanes restricted to cars with multiple passengers. Thus you can beat the fossil fuelers to any fire sales disposing of Solyndra's assets.

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by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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