In Oklahoma Republican Primary, Millennials Trash the Hardcore Conservatives

In Edmond, a very conservative suburb of very conservative Oklahoma City, some high school seniors engaged in a bit of do-it-yourself, against-the-grain activism by ridding their neighborhoods of Rick Santorum yard signs. Santorum leads opinion polling in the Sooner State, according to the Washington Post, but one gets the impression that these young, politically-active Oklahomans are not in the Romney or Gingrich camp; rather they seem to be a part of the more liberally inclined 18-29 year old demographic that supported President Obama nationwide in 2008. 

John McCain carried Oklahoma with 66% of the vote in the last election, and whoever wins the Republican nomination will almost certainly do as well this November (the last Democrat to carry Oklahoma was Lyndon Johnson in 1964). Oddly, this is in spite of the fact that Oklahoma has roughly 100,000 more registered Democrats than Republicans, and, apart from presidential elections, has historically been a Democratic Party stronghold (the current GOP-heavy congressional delegation notwithstanding).

Based on exit polling, 18-29 year olds in Oklahoma still went for McCain in 2008, but by a lower percentage (60% as opposed to 66%) than the rest of the state. If the trend toward a more liberally-oriented youth vote continues in this election cycle, the days when the GOP could count on Oklahoma as an automatic presidential win may be numbered.

Photo Credit: David Walker

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David Walker

David Walker is a middle school teacher and sometime attorney living in Oklahoma City.

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