May 28, 2009
Bill Shapard

Secession From The U.S.? Texas Is On Their Own

Individual states of the U.S. have openly discussed seceding and forming their own country, especially Texas. It is often argued that, while Oklahoma and Texas are sport rivals, they are similar in so many ways: culturally, topographically and even somewhat politically that Oklahoma might consider seceding as a Texas afterthought.

�This secession talk is mainly frustration speaking. These folks are so very frustrated with the direction of national politics and national policy that they�ll indulge in this conversation. There�s a sort of �take the football and go home� mindset that arises,� explains Dr. Keith Gaddie, SoonerPoll Vice President. conducted the scientific study �via telephone of 318 likely voters in Oklahoma chosen at random April 23-26, 2009.� The study has a margin of error of � 5.5%.

How Oklahomans feel about the secession: Concept and ask Oklahoman�s how they felt about Texas�s stance and about the right, or lack of right, to secede from the U.S.:

  • 73.6% of Oklahoma�s likely voters do not believe that individual states have the right to leave the United States and form a country;
  • 84.3% would oppose Oklahoma seceding from the United States if it were added to a ballot;
  • 81.1% would be unlikely to support the secession of Oklahoma from the United States if Texas actually seceded (75.8% very unlikely and 5.3% somewhat).

�The funnest part of this poll is the answer to the �what to do if Texas secedes� question. There�s an old saying in Oklahoma that if Texas leaves the union, Oklahoma better be ready to go along. That sentiment is reflected in these poll numbers. It�s either that, or build a wall�, notes Gaddie.

Crosstabulation of the poll results reveal more insight into political beliefs affecting opinions:

  • No respondents who described their political beliefs as liberal said that they would support an Oklahoma secession if it were added to a ballot;
  • The likelihood of a respondent supporting an Oklahoma secession increases as does the likelihood of a respondent�s political beliefs being more conservative;
  • Republicans are more likely than Democrats (19.3 points more likely) and Independents (14.6 points more likely) to believe that a state has the right to secede;

Gaddie further explains this political ideology correlation, �The low level of acceptance of the concept of secession applies across party and ideology. It is more pronounced among conservatives, some of whom subscribe to a pre-14th amendment vision of the United States.�

�While conservatives and Republicans are much more likely to consider seceding than other Oklahomans, the levels of support are far lower than what we have seen among similar groups in Georgia and Texas.�

Further analysis dealing with differences among rural and urban Oklahomans and parallels with approval or disapproval of President Obama reveal:

  • Those residing in rural Oklahoma are more likely to think that they would be prone to support secession of Oklahoma from the U.S. if Texas actually seceded than those residing in Tulsa MSA (metropolitan statistical area) (16.3 points more likely) and OKC MSA (6 points more likely);
  • A respondent who disapproves of the way Obama has handled his job so far as President is three times more likely to believe individual states have the right to secede and three times more likely to support an Oklahoma secession than those who do not approve of his job so far.
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.