July 5, 2023
Bill Shapard

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority's Favorability Takes a Hit Following South Expansion Controversy

Following in the wake of the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority's decision to pursue a southern Oklahoma City turnpike expansion, only 23.5 percent of likely voting Oklahomans have a favorable opinion of the state agency with half (50.3 percent) having an unfavorable opinion.


Over the last few years, OTA has pursued a plan that creates a southern extension of their turnpike, which would travel south into McClain County and onto I-35 just north of Purcell. The plan has been aggressively opposed by the city of Norman and residents who may lose their homes to the expansion. Recently, OTA has asked the State Supreme Court to validate the bonds for the projects, a process that is required before bonds can be sold to fund them.

[QUESTION: FAVORABLE/UNFAVORABLE] "Oklahoma Turnpike Authority"

  1. Very favorable 3.9%
  2. Somewhat favorable 19.6
  4. Don't know 26.3
  5. Somewhat unfavorable 32.8
  6. Very unfavorable 17.5

Oklahoma Turnpike Authority favorability was very similiar among Republicans, Democrats and Independents, with roughly a third or plurality of each having a somewhat unfavorable opinion of the state agency. Results were also similar regardless of the respondent's political ideology.

As one might expect, unfavorability was highest (61.9 percent) in Oklahoma's 4th congressional district where the controversial southern expansion is to be located, but nearly half also had an unfavorable opinion of the state agency in the 1st, 2nd and 5th districts.

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

The scientific study was conducted from June 1-4, 2023 with 302 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from SoonerPoll's proprietary online panel. The sample was weighted by education, age, 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 nearly a third identifying as Moderate. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ±5.65 percent.

A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

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 major campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.