September 30, 2021
Andrew Speno

Oklahoma Divided Over Supreme Court's McGirt Decision

The 2020 US Supreme Court decision that ruled in favor of the plaintiff in McGirt v Oklahoma has caused great division among Oklahoma’s leaders. Governor Kevin Stitt has vehemently denounced the ruling while some Oklahomans, including many of the Indian Tribes, have expressed support for the decision.


SoonerPoll surveyed 299 likely voters -- Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, and Independents -- across the state. The survey is stratified to represent Oklahoma's likely voter population.

[QUESTION] Here are several statements about current Oklahoman issues. For each one, please tell me whether you support or oppose the statement:

"In the recent McGirt v Oklahoma Supreme Court decision, parts of the state originally Native American tribal land will now have jurisdiction for criminal cases and will have to go through tribal courts or federal courts, effectively throwing out convictions for people convicted in Oklahoma courts. Do you support or oppose this ruling?"

1. Strongly Support: 15.0%
2. Somewhat Support: 18.3
3. Don’t Know: 19.9
4. Somewhat Oppose: 20.2
5. Strongly Oppose: 26.6

Neither side of this argument can claim a majority of voters but those in opposition clearly outnumber those who support it. The combined opposition to the McGirt decision stands at 46.8% while the level of combined support is more than ten points lower at 33.3%.

A total of 63.3% of Oklahoma Republicans express opposition to the Supreme Court decision compared to 55.6% of Democrats who support it. A plurality of Independent voters, 38.2%, don’t know how they feel.

When divided along racial lines, a majority of Native Americans disagree with the McGirt ruling with 30.1% strongly opposed and 26.0% somewhat opposed. That is a combined unfavourability among Oklahoma Indians of 56.1%. Less than half of White voters oppose the ruling with a combined disapproval of 48.3%.

The strongest endorsement for the McGirt decision comes from Oklahoma’s Black voters. 32.6% strongly support the ruling while 22.8% somewhat support it. A plurality of Hispanic voters, 42.2%don’t know how they feel.

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll.

The scientific study was conducted from July 21-August13, 2021 with 300 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus SoonerPoll's proprietary online panel. The sample was weighted by age, gender, and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election. The weighting was conducted using a 'layered technique.'

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative and attending religious services once or more per week. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ±5.67 percent.

A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

Photo by iclifford

Andrew Speno
About the Author

Andrew Speno