June 26, 2018
Bill Shapard

Democrats surge in enthusiasm compared to prior years, catch up with Republicans

During the President Obama years, Oklahoma Democrats had lost some enthusiasm in voting, and the loss was felt as Republicans swept every statewide office in 2010 and built upon their majorities in the State House and Senate.

It appears the Democratic enthusiasm has returned.

According to the most recent SoonerPoll, the Democrats' level of voting enthusiasm is 51.6 percent, compared to the current Republicans' level at 53.6 percent. The last time Democrat enthusiasm was this high was back in 2008.

Although it should be noted that Republican enthusiasm remains high, despite the change in the White House or the current governor's extremely low favorable rating. Republican enthusiasm was highest in 2010, a good year for them at the ballot box.

"This is where Oklahoma Democrats and Republicans differ," said Bill Shapard, CEO of "Oklahoma Democrats became dissatisfied with President Obama who ran as a moderate but governed as a liberal, meanwhile favorability of President Trump remains high with Oklahoma Republicans."

[box][QUESTION] Thinking about this June election, compared to other elections, are you more enthusiastic about voting than usual, less enthusiastic, or about the same?

Republicans Democrats Independents1. More enthusiastic53.651.635.52. Less enthusiastic15.520.538.43. About the same30.927.826.0


The enthusiasm is also showing up in early voting totals for the primary election today.

OK Primary: Democrats & Republicans have both seen a surge in early voting compared to 2014 Primary. More than 20K Democrats have voted (so far) during early voting vs. about 8,800 in 2014. Nearly 23K Republicans have voted (so far) during early voting vs. about 12,000 in 2014.

— Oklahoma State Election Board (@OKelections) June 23, 2018

"This year, Oklahoma Democrats feel embolden this year, but it probably has less to do with President Trump and more to do with Governor Fallin, who is extremely unpopular with Democrats, and the budget deficit and education funding crisis," said Shapard, who went on to note that four out of ten Democrats have a favorable opinion of President Trump in the most recent polling.

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the poll of Oklahoma likely voters, which was commissioned by News9 and Newson6.

The scientific study was conducted May 15-23, 2018 with 401 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a 4-frame of SoonerPoll's own online panel, Research Now's voter panel, cell phones and landline telephones. For cell phone and landline telephones, voters are selected at random from SoonerPoll's voter database and matched with cell and landline phone numbers. Cell phone and landline participants were collected using live interviewers. The sample was weighted by age, gender, political party and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a primary election.

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.89 percent.

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.