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Lankford gets record number of votes

WASHINGTON _ U.S. Sen. James Lankford set a record Tuesday night in his reelection victory: He won more votes than any candidate in Oklahoma history.

Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, received 979,728 votes, in unofficial results from the Oklahoma Election Board.

That was more than GOP presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, who got 947,934 votes. In 2008, Republican presidential nominee John McCain got 960,165 votes; and in 2004, then-President George W. Bush got 959,792 votes.

Going into Tuesday's elections, there were 2,157,450 registered voters in Oklahoma. That is not an all-time high. There were more than 2.2 million before the 2000 presidential election and about 2.18 million before the 2008 presidential election.

Turnout is always higher for presidential elections than for those in off-presidential years, which helped boost Lankford's numbers. But he still bested other Oklahoma senators who were on the ballot in a presidential year.

Former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican, got 763,433 votes in 2004. And U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, got 763,375 votes in 2008.

McCain, Trump, Bush, Coburn and Inhofe had real competition, Democrats who had held office and raised money. Lankford beat an unknown Democrat, Mike Workman, who never filed a campaign finance report, a Libertarian and two Independents.

In an interview Wednesday morning, Lankford said, "It's really humbling is what it is."

Lankford won a six-year term on Tuesday; that will begin in January. He is serving the last two years of Coburn's term. Lankford won the seat after Coburn announced his resignation.

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 ›