The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 26, 2012

Romney still commands Oklahoma's seven electoral votes

Staff and wire reports
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — For those closely watching the electoral college's movement this year, Oklahoma has never moved from the deepest of red colors.  And, today's presidential race results will firmly keep it there.



In a SoonerPoll.com survey of 305 likely voters taken by phone Oct 18-24th, 33 percent said they would vote for the re-election of President Barack Obama - a slight improvement from the 29 percent in August who, at that time, said they'd vote for the president.



Governor Mitt Romney remained at 58%, with President Obama's gain since August coming from undecided voters, which now sits at just 8 percent.



"The main reason for Governor Romney's dominance in the poll is his command of all of the top demographic groups," said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.  "I expect that the remaining undecideds will per-dominantly break for Governor Romney putting him above 60 percent on election day."



Among Republicans, Romney commanded 90%, losing only 7% to President Obama.  Democrats in the state still favored the president with 55%, but the challenger was still able to win over nearly one in three Democrats (32%).  Obama also led among Independents, 47% to 37%, but Independents only make up about five to seven percent of the turnout on election day in Oklahoma.



With half of the all likely voters in the state identifying themselves as conservative, Romney had an overwhelming advantage with 85% of the "very conservative" respondents and 79% of the "somewhat conservative."



While the rest of the nation closely watches the "gender gap" between President Obama and Governor Romney, the gap in Oklahoma is nearly non-existent.  Romney led Obama among male voters, 59% to 33%, and among female voters, 58% to 33%.



Among church goers, Romney led with 67% of those who attend church several times a week, and 57% of those who attend at least once a week.  Both of these high attendance subsets constitute 60% of likely voters in Oklahoma.



At the national level, much attention is paid to the youth vote which was a powerful component to Obama's victory in 2008.  Many speculate that the job market is a key driver this year for the youth vote, where unemployment is high among those 25 and younger.  In the poll, 57% of those 34 and younger, which is only about 8 percent of the electorate, identified themselves as Romney voters with Obama getting 29% of them.  Romney led by double digits in every other age group.



Interestingly, Obama performed best in the Tulsa metro area, matching Romney with 46% in the poll, but trailed Romney in the Oklahoma City metro by 26 points, and 42 points in the rural areas of the state.



Romney led in all five congressional districts with the lowest in the Tulsa-dominated 1st district at 49%, and his highest in the southwestern 4th district, at 71%, that runs from Norman to Lawton.



In the much-watched 2nd congressional district, where Democrats are defending the open seat after the retirement of Rep. Dan Boren (D), Romney led with 55% to 29% for Obama.  Some political observers note that getting Romney Democrats to cross over and vote for Rob Wallace, the Democratic congressional candidate, will be the the Democrats' greatest challenge.



In further analysis of the poll, Romney received:

* 68% of white/Caucasian voters, who are about three-fourths of likely voters in the state.

* 61% of respondents living in active military households.

* 76% of those in retired military households.

* 68% of federal employees, 67% of state employees and 56% of local government employees.

* 64% of self-identified evangelical voters.

* 65% among married respondents, who were 73% of all respondents.

President Obama's best performances in the poll were few and typically among small portions of the Oklahoma electorate.  Take for example union households, which only constitute about one in ten in the state, Obama led in these households with 49%,  but Romney still garnered 40% of them.



In households with annual incomes under $35,000, Obama led by 11 points (52% to 41%), but these only make up about 22% of voters on election day.  Romney led Obama in every other income bracket with spreads between 51 and 21 points.



One question remains, will President Obama be able to win at least one county in Oklahoma this year?



"Doubtful," Shapard said, "but there are several candidates in southeastern Oklahoma and Tulsa County, who went on to note that the president only trails Governor Romney by one point in Tulsa County, the second most populous county in the state.