August 20, 2012
Madison Grady

Oklahomans back Romney

A word of advice for any Oklahoma Democrat running for elected office this year: hide any photos of you with President Barack Obama. The latest polling numbers show the president is about as popular in Oklahoma as the heat.

Figures from the newly released Oklahoma Poll, conducted by SoonerPoll, have the president losing badly to Republican Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential race. Of the nearly 500 Oklahomans polled for the survey, only 29.4 percent said they will vote for Obama while 57.4 percent said they will vote for Romney with 13 percent unsure of whom they will vote for.

These latest numbers continue a depressing trend for the president’s favorability in Oklahoma. Obama’s unpopularity in the Sooner state has existed for as long as he has been a national political figure. In the 2008 race against John McCain, Obama did not win a single county in Oklahoma, the only state to make that claim. And polling throughout his term in the White House consistently shows Obama has never earned the trust of more than one-third of Oklahomans.

The dislike for Obama is across the board. Old, young, middle and upper income, high school and college graduates, regular and occasional church goers would rather see Romney in the White House.

Obama’s dismissal support among conservatives is expected, but intriguing is the president’s lack of support from traditional Democrat strengths. African Americans are the only minority in Oklahoma the president has solid support from. Oklahoma Asians and Native Americans favor Romney over the president while Hispanics are split. This is contrary to national trends which show the president with solid support among minority voters.

[box] Question Wording:
"If the presidential election were today, and you are standing in the voting booth and you had to make a choice right now, who would you vote for?" [READ AND ROTATE]

  1. Barack Obama
  2. Mitt Romney
  3. Undecided/Refused [Do not read]


One other Democrat stronghold is also abandoning Obama in Oklahoma: government workers. The survey asked respondents whether they or anyone in their household are employed by the government, including teachers, police and fire workers and military members. Twenty percent identified themselves as a government employee.

Of that group, only 27 percent said they will vote for Obama this November. More than 60 percent are supporting Romney. Among the non-government employed respondents, 30 percent are supporting Obama while 56 percent support Romney.

Along education lines, Romney also has a strong showing. High school and college graduates give the presumptive Republican nominee more than 54 percent support. Post college graduate and vocational voters give Romney even higher marks. The president has some traction with voters who attended but did not graduate from high school.

Romney has an advantage across nearly all age groups. Twenty-five year-olds as well as voters over the age of 65 said they support Romney, with the GOP nominee getting at least 54 percent support in most age groups.

The areas Obama has stronger support include lower income, Oklahomans who attend church once a month and people who consider themselves moderates. Obama also has more support in Tulsa than Oklahoma City, but both figures are below 40 percent.

Obama has the support of more than two-thirds of voters who consider themselves liberals. Moderates favor the president over Romney 47 percent to 33 percent.

Since his election in 2008, Obama’s popularity has slid in Oklahoma. On election night four years ago, Obama received 34 percent of the vote. But since the election, each new Oklahoma Poll reveals declining job approval and voter sentiment numbers.

At first, Oklahomans seemed to give Obama a bit of a break, with 46 percent approval in the first three months of his presidency. But beginning in the summer of 2009, a steady decline set in, with the bottom coming during the 2010 mid-term elections where only 26 percent of Oklahomans approved of the president. The following Oklahoma Poll numbers showed slight up ticks, peaking with the killing of Osama Bin Laden in the summer of 2011. Obama’s approval nipped over 34 percent. But just a few months later, the backslide started and Obama was down below 30 percent once again. He has yet to climb over that number since.

About the Poll

Four hundred and ninety-five (495) likely voters participated in this study, using a Random Digit Dialing (RDD) technique that included both cell phone and landline telephone numbers. Likely voters were determined by utilizing an industry recognized likely voter screen.

The data collection was conducted by phone using live interviewers from July 26, 2012 to August 14, 2012. Results were weighted by age, MSA and party and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both).

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4.4 percentage points. The error for subgroups may be higher. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

A complete description of the methodology can be found at

As a part of an industry effort, known as the AAPOR Transparency Initiative, to provide more disclosure of how polls are conducted, here is a comprehensive Sample Disposition and Rate Calculations report of this poll, which includes a disposition of all calls made from the sample and calculated response, cooperation, refusal, and contact rates as defined by the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR).

Madison Grady
About the Author

Madison Grady