Oklahoma Isn’t As Politically Red As People Think
Every time the elections come around, especially the national elections, Oklahoma makes a name for itself as the "reddest state in the nation," but that's not the long and short of it.
Sure, with the exception of President Johnson in 1964, Oklahoma has voted for every Republican presidential nominee since President Eisenhower, but things on the state level are a little more purple than most would willingly accept in the opinion-driven era of today.
In our 115-year history as a state, out of twenty-six people to hold the position, Oklahoma's only had five Republican governors to date. Recent history tends to hide the fact that the trend of Democrat-lead leadership extends into the history of our federal and state senators and representatives too. Historically, Oklahoma's been a pretty blue state... just not so much since the 1990s.
Politically, I'm a shade of purple rather than red or blue. While my parents identify as deep red, they don't seem to realize how purple they are either. I think that's fair to say of most people in this state. We'll identify as red or blue, but in conversation, those colors mix a lot more than we realize.
Simply put, the puppet masters have us all convinced it's an us or them kind of thing, but I wholeheartedly disagree. This topic comes up quite a bit in my small but very politically diverse circle of friends.
Every time one of them brings up their self-proclaimed political oppression, I can't stop myself from hopping on a fence to play the devil's advocate. It's not something I do on purpose or for sport, I just naturally fall in the moderate middle of everything because I believe right and wrong have nothing to do with red or blue.
The hottest debate in the state for the last few weeks has been the gubernatorial election between Kevin Stitt and Joy Hoffmeister. One side is largely apathetic and depressed about a perceived status-quo result due to Oklahoma being the "reddest state in the nation..." but it's not.
The latest Oklahoma State Election Board electorate report seems to paint a similar picture.
Sure, red Republicans represent the biggest portion of voters in the state, that's expected.
Blue Democrats may only represent 31.41% of Oklahoma voters, but you can leave out the Independents...
I know Independents find it hard to identify on either side of the political spectrum, but while they may insist they don't vote for any single party as much as they vote against other parties. My generation used the Independent registration to hide Democrat leanings, in 2022 I know quite a few that choose it because the Democrats don't lean far enough left. All in all, it's a purply shade of blue but with extra steps for the perceived fashion of being an individual. It makes it easier to conform without all of the obvious conformity.
For the record, that's not an insult to Independents. They might actually be the only honest party of voters in current politics.
If you add it all up, the "reddest state in the nation" is only "redder" by 6/10ths of a percent. For all intents and purposes, we're shockingly equally split in this state.
I know, I know... You're still hung up on the whole "Independents are just Democrats with extra steps" thing. Fair enough, as you can see I was expecting that... but you're missing the point.
Oklahoma's not nearly as red as everyone believes.
Take Comanche County for instance. Politically, it's even closer here, if not leaning the other way altogether. Those Independent voters are so hard to figure out, it's unsure who has the majority here. There's enough logical wiggle room there to toss out hyperbole about Republicans being the minority.
All in all, I don't think we can continue this trend of Oklahoma being the "reddest state in the nation." Numbers never lie, but they do deflect and sway.
Choosing not to vote because you think your vote won't matter is incorrect. Choosing not to vote because you feel your views are protected by the sheer number of like-thinking voters is also incorrect. The only acceptable reason not to vote is, well, accepting that both parties are the same, all candidates are the same, and it doesn't matter who runs things, they're going to end up in the ground anyway.
Tongue in cheek.
Oklahoma's not a red state. It's not a blue state. It's a shockingly evenly divided state and why no other media talks about it is beyond me.
Before you bring it up, Gerrymandering districts is as American as cheating in baseball. It's also a topic for someone smarter than me to discuss with you.
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