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| | |-+  How did Carter lose OK?
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Author Topic: How did Carter lose OK?  (Read 1945 times)
ShadowOfTheWave
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« on: May 20, 2014, 10:52:27 pm »
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I mean, the state is what, 40% Democratic now? I'd bet it was at least 50% then. Carter destroyed Ford in AR, which is culturally similar to southeastern OK. Plus, Carter's Christianity should had gone over well with in the Oklahoma City area, no? Was Ford really that great a Republican for the state?
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dingojoe
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« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2014, 11:39:28 pm »
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Carter was very pro-coal and anti-natural gas (the context and issues of the day were quite different from where we are now) plus Oklahoma is a similar to Kansas as it is to Arkansas.
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freepcrusher
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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2014, 02:06:29 am »
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I mean, the state is what, 40% Democratic now? I'd bet it was at least 50% then. Carter destroyed Ford in AR, which is culturally similar to southeastern OK. Plus, Carter's Christianity should had gone over well with in the Oklahoma City area, no? Was Ford really that great a Republican for the state?

what's odd is that it was the large counties (Oklahoma and Tulsa) that did him in. He did pretty well in the rural areas.
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« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2014, 04:32:10 am »
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I mean, the state is what, 40% Democratic now? I'd bet it was at least 50% then. Carter destroyed Ford in AR, which is culturally similar to southeastern OK. Plus, Carter's Christianity should had gone over well with in the Oklahoma City area, no? Was Ford really that great a Republican for the state?

what's odd is that it was the large counties (Oklahoma and Tulsa) that did him in. He did pretty well in the rural areas.

Well, he won most of the counties in Oklahoma. Voting patterns were different then. I mean he close to half of the counties in California, but the bay area voted Republican, LOL.
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Miles
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« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2014, 01:06:10 pm »
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I mean, the state is what, 40% Democratic now? I'd bet it was at least 50% then. Carter destroyed Ford in AR, which is culturally similar to southeastern OK. Plus, Carter's Christianity should had gone over well with in the Oklahoma City area, no? Was Ford really that great a Republican for the state?

what's odd is that it was the large counties (Oklahoma and Tulsa) that did him in. He did pretty well in the rural areas.

This, Tulsa being worse (-25 vs -15 for Oklahoma). If he lost Tulsa by the same margin he did Oklahoma, he would have won the state by a few thousand.
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SLValleyMan
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« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2014, 02:46:46 pm »
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I mean, the state is what, 40% Democratic now? I'd bet it was at least 50% then. Carter destroyed Ford in AR, which is culturally similar to southeastern OK. Plus, Carter's Christianity should had gone over well with in the Oklahoma City area, no? Was Ford really that great a Republican for the state?

what's odd is that it was the large counties (Oklahoma and Tulsa) that did him in. He did pretty well in the rural areas.
Tulsa especially has been a GOP stronghold for decades due to the role of fossil fuels in the area.
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« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2014, 06:24:27 pm »
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In the North, Carter won the high populated counties and lost the low populated ones.

In the South, Carter won the low populated counties and lost the high populated ones.
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« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2014, 08:30:45 pm »
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The answer is obvious: racism. Wink
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2014, 08:35:56 pm »
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Oklahoma had a white, Southern Democratic-type electorate in 1976, but many of those Democrats had long stopped voting Democratic in Presidential races, and Oklahoma had fewer black voters to narrow the gap then other Southern states.  Other than 1964, with LBJ, Oklahoma hadn't gone for the Democrats since Truman in 1948.
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They call me PR
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« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2014, 03:08:40 pm »
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In addition to what others have said, northern Oklahoma (especially near the Panhandle) is more ancestrally Republican (and a lot less Southern) than the rest of the state, and when combined with the votes of (white) conservatives from the growing OKC and Tulsa metros in 1976...well, Ford's victory is fairly easy to explain.

Note that Carter still won many of the more Southern/Dixiecratic counties of southeast OK in 1980 while losing the rest of the state.
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« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2014, 09:16:24 pm »
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In addition to what others have said, northern Oklahoma (especially near the Panhandle) is more ancestrally Republican (and a lot less Southern) than the rest of the state, and when combined with the votes of (white) conservatives from the growing OKC and Tulsa metros in 1976...well, Ford's victory is fairly easy to explain.

Note that Carter still won many of the more Southern/Dixiecratic counties of southeast OK in 1980 while losing the rest of the state.

Oklahoma was a very, very white (88%) state in 1976, with a black population of about 7-8%.  The Native American vote in Oklahoma was not a monolithic Democratic vote for President. 

Oklahoma moved toward the Democrats in 1988 due to the 1980s farm recession, but this is now ancient history.
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DS0816
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2014, 04:11:06 am »
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Jimmy Carter, the Democratic pickup winner elected the 39th president of the United States in Election 1976, narrowly missed a host of states. He was dealing with making up a loss of 23.15 percentage points by the 1972 nominee of his party, South Dakota U.S. Sen. George McGovern. McGovern carried only one state, Massachusetts, and District of Columbia. Carter shifted every state in the nation (no exceptions) in his direction. It was a national shift of 25.21 percent to win over the U.S. Popular Vote, in a Democratic pickup, by 2.06 percentage points. Had Carter won by an additional three percentage points, that theoretically (I'm not assuming uniformity of shift) would have take him from 23 states to at least five more. That also would have sent his prevailing 297 electoral votes to much closer to 397 electoral votes as he would have also won pickups in the likes of California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Virginia, and maybe even Oklahoma (carried by Gerald Ford with a margin of 1.21 percentage points). Part of why Carter didn't win even bigger was the alignment of the map (base states for a then-Democratic Party being in the "south" and a then-Republican Party being in the "north").
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« Reply #12 on: July 27, 2014, 04:20:33 am »
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Are you seriously asking? Oklahoma was a solid-R state ever since 1952. It's already an impressive feat for Carter to come so close.
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2014, 04:15:51 pm »
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Ford picked Dole, and Dole's from Kansas which is also just like Oklahoma. I bet if Rockefeller had stayed on,the whole GOP ticket would've appeared to elitist and "not Christian enough"

And as for California, the Bay Area voted for Carter mostly, two of the counties there voted the most heavily for Carter in the whole state.
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« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2014, 10:23:49 am »
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Are you seriously asking? Oklahoma was a solid-R state ever since 1952. It's already an impressive feat for Carter to come so close.

And yet party ID suggested otherwise until very recently.
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Mechaman
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« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2014, 01:53:02 pm »
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Are you seriously asking? Oklahoma was a solid-R state ever since 1952. It's already an impressive feat for Carter to come so close.

And yet party ID suggested otherwise until very recently.

Perhaps that would better splain more how Carter got close than how he did not win it.

I feel like devoting a major effort post explaining the political culture of Oklahoma (IIRC, the state legislatures was almost always 70% or more Democratic up to last decade.  Not kidding) and how the Democratic presidential nominees of the 20th century more often than not were generally considered to be too liberal for the electorate of the state.  Alas, I'm on my lunch break and I got ten minutes left.

I might have something up tonight.
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23:19   Xahar   you're literally a white dude Mechaman
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« Reply #16 on: August 26, 2014, 03:41:04 pm »
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Interestingly, the last time Oklahoma voted more Democratic than the nation as a whole was 1956.  (Did they like Stevenson?).  Then it swung sharply against JFK, who lost the state by 18 points while Stevenson had lost it by only 10 four years earlier.  Kennedy's poor performance must have been due to Oklahoma being a particularly anti-Papist state, (Al Smith got brutally crushed there in 1928).

I'm guessing the cultural issues that occurred later in the 1960s helped to make it difficult for the state to vote to more Democratic than the nation again, but I'm sure Mechaman will say more about it later.
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« Reply #17 on: August 29, 2014, 03:53:32 am »
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Are you seriously asking? Oklahoma was a solid-R state ever since 1952. It's already an impressive feat for Carter to come so close.

And yet party ID suggested otherwise until very recently.

Further proof that party ID is meaningless in predicting presidential vote. By 1976, Oklahoma had voted only once for a Democratic presidential candidate over the previous 25 years (and it was during LBJ's landslide). In the two close elections of that period, Kennedy and Humphrey both lost massively.
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Mechaman
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« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2014, 07:17:57 am »
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Are you seriously asking? Oklahoma was a solid-R state ever since 1952. It's already an impressive feat for Carter to come so close.

And yet party ID suggested otherwise until very recently.

Further proof that party ID is meaningless in predicting presidential vote. By 1976, Oklahoma had voted only once for a Democratic presidential candidate over the previous 25 years (and it was during LBJ's landslide). In the two close elections of that period, Kennedy and Humphrey both lost massively.

Yeah, I think a lot of people are underestimating how much influence things like the oil and gas industry are to Oklahoma voters, both Democrats and Republicans.  Practically every Democrat that Oklahoma elected since statehood was pretty supportive of the state's biggest industry, something that would go a long way in soothing the fears of enough OKC and Tulsa voters to win elections that national Democrats struggled with.  On the presidential level the story was much different, as the GOP candidate was almost always guaranteed to win at least 60% of the vote in Tulsa County (once known as "the Oil Capital of the world") and Oklahoma County was at least "likely" Republican barring a Dem landslide.  In fact I would argue that Ford's victory in Oklahoma in 1976 was due to his overperformance in the state's two largest cities (he beat Carter by landslide margins in Tulsa and by 15% in Oklahoma County).  That Carter got so close is more testament to his "good old humble pie boy" persona as well as his perceived "moderatism" compared to previous opponents.  His views on energy certainly could not have helped him.  Arguably, the case can also be made that Gerald Ford was a bad candidate for "Little Dixie", given that he was and still is seen as a more moderate Republican who could've been perceived as "urbane" by country voters.  He also made a few dumb comments about the Cold War, which wouldn't go well with many of the hawkish types in the state.

1976 is one of the elections that makes analyzing Oklahoma politics fun.
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