February 25, 2016
Madison Grady

Oklahomans want standardized approach to term limits

There is no doubt that likely voting Oklahomans support term limits since they were first passed for the legislature in 1990. Back then, Oklahoma was just one of three states to enact legislative term limits.

But, term limits are not the same for all state elected officials. The governor, as well as some statewide elected officials are term limited to eight years, which was enacted in 2010, but legislators in the state house and senate and Corporation Commissioners, who serve two-six year terms, are term limited to 12 years.

According to the most recent quarterly poll conducted by SoonerPoll, likely voters in the state support standardizing the term limits for all state elected officials to no more than 12 years. Seventy-one percent (71%) supported a standardized 12 years, except for the governor's office, while 11 percent had no opinion on the issue, and only 18 percent opposed.

In the poll, the governor was left at a term limit of two terms, mirroring the vast majority of term limits in 35 other states. Across the nation, state legislatures and other statewide officials, however, are not as uniformal.

[box] Currently, legislators are term limited to serve no more than 12 years in the state legislature. Some statewide elected officials are term limited to serve no more than 8 years in their current office. Knowing this, do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE creating a standard whereby ALL state elected officials, except for the Governor, are term limited to no more than 12 years in their current office? [PROBE: STRONGLY/SOMEWHAT]

1. Strongly support41.22. Somewhat support29.63. Neutral/no opinion/refused [DNR]10.84. Somewhat oppose5.55. Strongly oppose13.0


"Oklahomans believe term limits are working and support them," said Bill Shapard, founder of SoonerPoll. "but, they also want to see a more standard approach to how term limits are applied."

No significant variances were observed for any demographic subsets in the poll.

Currently before the legislature is SJR 45, a term limits bill authored by Senator Mike Schulz. If passed, voters in Oklahoma could see the state question on the ballot in November.


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 February 9-12, 2016 with 410 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a dual frame of both landline telephone and cell phones. The sample was weighted by age, congressional district and gender in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election.

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 ± 4.84 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll's Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here. A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

Madison Grady
About the Author

Madison Grady