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Oklahoma County's shocking — or at least surprising — vote results

Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, who is expected to run for governor in four years, had a good night on Tuesday. He won every county and had a better winning percentage (68.5) than any other Republican on the statewide ballot.

Pat McFerron, Republican pollster, consultant and expert on nuts-and-bolts campaign stuff, said that could be because Sens. Jim Inhofe and Senator-elect James Lankford had Independents running against them along with their Democratic opponents

Here’s what’s interesting — fascinating really if you’re a political junkie with some sense of Oklahoma’s traditional voting patterns and alignments:

McFerron charted Lamb’s results in all 77 counties and found that the gubernatorial hopeful did better in some southeastern Oklahoma counties — an area once known as Little Dixie — than in Oklahoma County, the state’s most populous and one that used to be among the safest for Republicans.

In fact, McFerron found, Oklahoma County gave Lamb his fifth worst showing in the state — right behind Latimer, Coal, Muskogee and Cherokee Counties, which are historically among the bluest in the state.

Lamb still got 61 percent of the vote in Oklahoma County against Cathy Cummings, an Oklahoma City restaurant owner making her first political race.

But any long-time observer would be shocked, McFerron said, to see Oklahoma County in the company of those Democratic counties.

It is proof, he said, of the political shift he discussed in this story from Sunday in The Oklahoman about the changing demographics in Oklahoma.

Meanwhile, Gov. Mary Fallin received only 51 percent in Oklahoma County on Tuesday. That performance was worse than any other Republican on the statewide ballot.

Only 10 counties — nearly all in eastern Oklahoma — gave her a lower percentage. Three others also gave her 51 percent. Those were all in eastern Oklahoma as well.

Even a party as flat on its back as the Oklahoma Democratic Party might find a reason in these numbers to get back up for another round two years from now.

For the sake of comparison with Oklahoma’s other big urban county, which has also been safe Republican territory:

Fallin got 57 percent in Tulsa County and Lamb got 67 percent.






Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›