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Barack Obama

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Republicans remain more enthusiastic than Democrats in voting this year as in 2010, and Independents increased their enthusiasm in both general elections since 2008, according to a new poll by SoonerPoll.com.

The phone survey of 305 likely voting Oklahomans show 60% of Independents were more enthusiastic in voting this year than in previous elections, Republicans were 58% and Democrats were 46%.

While Independents only make up about five to seven percent of the turnout on Election Day, there may not be much to read into how this will affect the election here in Oklahoma.  But, all eyes are on the Republican and Democrat enthusiasm, where Republicans continue to out-pace Democrats — this year by just 13 points.

Here is another way to look at it.  Among just those in the poll who said they were more enthusiastic about voting this time than previous elections, slightly more than half (51%) were Republicans compared to 43% for Democrats.  Likewise, 59% of those who said they were less enthusiastic were Democrats compared to only 34% of Republicans.

An even more stark difference was found among respondents’ vote choice for president.  Among those most enthusiastic in voting, 68% were voting for Governor Mitt Romney while only 30% for President Barack Obama, a whopping 38 point spread.

For the state’s Democrats, this may not be a good sign as enthusiasm, or lack of it, at the top of the ballot can have an impact on voter turnout in down ticket races, such as those for the state house and senate.

Question wording, topline and crosstab results

“Romney supporters are finally getting more excited than Obama’s,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.  “Enthusiasm gets voters to the polls, more volunteers in the door, and money in the campaign account.”

Conservatives in Oklahoma also seem to be driving enthusiasm.  By a net 11 points, conservatives are more enthusiastic than less enthusiastic about voting in this election, but moderates and liberal voters had higher less enthusiasm than more — moderates by 11 points and liberal voters by two.

Most political observers agree that Romney’s increase in enthusiasm dates back to the first debate, in which the president even admitted it wasn’t his best performance.

“Conservatives were not necessarily on board with Romney during the primary,” Shapard said.  “He had been a moderate, pro-choice Republican governor from a blue state, but his performance in the first debate showed conservatives that Romney could potentially beat the president.”

The same trend also is appearing on the national stage.  In the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, 59 percent of Romney backers voiced “strong enthusiasm” for their candidate, a jump of 11 points in two weeks and a stunning 33-point leap since May.  Enthusiasm for the president was also higher in the same poll, but it was below where it was four years ago.

Nowhere could enthusiasm be more important than among demographic groups which typically have lower voter turnout.  One in particular is younger voters who, in 2008, were critical in the election of President Obama.  Earlier this month, Harvard University released a poll of 18- to 29-year-olds that showed the percent claiming they will definitely vote was down about 15 percentage points from 2008.

In the critical swing state of Ohio, the percentage of those highly enthusiastic is low among younger likely voters, according to the most recent Marist Poll. Of those 18-29, 51 percent said they were very enthusiastic, the lowest percentage among the various age groups.

Keith Gaddie, political science professor at the University of Oklahoma, felt enthusiasm may be best for Romney, but that Obama’s final two weeks was based on a different strategy.

“My conversations with colleagues at the national polling houses indicates that the Romney vote is more closely tied to enthusiasm, while Democratic intention to vote Obama is independent of any enthusiasm for voting,” said Gaddie.  “This presents different closing strategies — the Romney strategy has to be about momentum and enthusiasm, while the Obama strategy is about identification and mobilization.”

 

About the Poll

Three hundred and five (305) 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 October 18-24, 2012.  Results were weighted by age, sex, race and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both).  A complete description of the methodology can be found at here.

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5.61 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.

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).

 

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For those closely watching the electoral college’s movement this year, Oklahoma has never moved from the deepest of red colors.  And, today’s presidential race results will firmly keep it there.

In a survey of 305 likely voters taken by phone Oct 18-24th, 33 percent said they would vote for the re-election of President Barack Obama – a slight improvement from the 29 percent in August who, at that time, said they’d vote for the president.

Governor Mitt Romney remained at 58%, with President Obama’s gain since August coming from undecided voters, which now sits at just 8 percent.

“The main reason for Governor Romney’s dominance in the poll is his command of all of the top demographic groups,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.  “I expect that the remaining undecideds will pre-dominantly break for Governor Romney putting him above 60 percent on election day.”

Among Republicans, Romney commanded 90%, losing only 7% to President Obama.  Democrats in the state still favored the president with 55%, but the challenger was still able to win over nearly one in three Democrats (32%).  Obama also led among Independents, 47% to 37%, but Independents only make up about five to seven percent of the turnout on election day in Oklahoma.

With half of the all likely voters in the state identifying themselves as conservative, Romney had an overwhelming advantage with 85% of the “very conservative” respondents and 79% of the “somewhat conservative.”

Question wording, topline and crosstab results

While the rest of the nation closely watches the “gender gap” between President Obama and Governor Romney, the gap in Oklahoma is nearly non-existent.  Romney led Obama among male voters, 59% to 33%, and among female voters, 58% to 33%.

Among church goers, Romney led with 67% of those who attend church several times a week, and 57% of those who attend at least once a week.  Both of these high attendance subsets constitute 60% of likely voters in Oklahoma.

At the national level, much attention is paid to the youth vote which was a powerful component to Obama’s victory in 2008.  Many speculate that the job market is a key driver this year for the youth vote, where unemployment is high among those 25 and younger.  In the poll, 57% of those 34 and younger, which is only about 8 percent of the electorate, identified themselves as Romney voters with Obama getting 29% of them.  Romney led by double digits in every other age group.

Interestingly, Obama performed best in the Tulsa metro area, matching Romney with 46% in the poll, but trailed Romney in the Oklahoma City metro by 26 points, and 42 points in the rural areas of the state.

Romney led in all five congressional districts with the lowest in the Tulsa-dominated 1st district at 49%, and his highest in the southwestern 4th district, at 71%, that runs from Norman to Lawton.

In the much-watched 2nd congressional district, where Democrats are defending the open seat after the retirement of Rep. Dan Boren (D), Romney led with 55% to 29% for Obama.  Some political observers note that getting Romney Democrats to cross over and vote for Rob Wallace, the Democratic congressional candidate, will be the the Democrats’ greatest challenge.

In further analysis of the poll, Romney received:

  • 68% of white/Caucasian voters, who are about three-fourths of likely voters in the state.
  • 61% of respondents living in active military households.
  • 76% of those in retired military households.
  • 68% of federal employees, 67% of state employees and 56% of local government employees.
  • 64% of self-identified evangelical voters.
  • 65% among married respondents, who were 73% of all respondents.

President Obama’s best performances in the poll were few and typically among small portions of the Oklahoma electorate.  Take for example union households, which only constitute about one in ten in the state, Obama led in these households with 49%,  but Romney still garnered 40% of them.

In households with annual incomes under $35,000, Obama led by 11 points (52% to 41%), but these only make up about 22% of voters on election day.  Romney led Obama in every other income bracket with spreads between 51 and 21 points.

One question remains, will President Obama be able to win at least one county in Oklahoma this year?

“Doubtful,” Shapard said, “but there are several candidates in southeastern Oklahoma and Tulsa County, who went on to note that the president only trails Governor Romney by one point in Tulsa County, the second most populous county in the state.

 

About the Poll

Three hundred and five (305) 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 October 18-24, 2012.  Results were weighted by age, sex, race and phone status (cell phone only/landline only/both).  A complete description of the methodology can be found at here.

For results based on the total sample, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±5.61 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.

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).

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President Obama standing in front of oil and gas piping in Cushing, Oklahoma 2012

The simplest way to explain Pres. Barack Obama’s unpopularity in Oklahoma is a left-of-center, Harvard-educated, Chicago-politician doesn’t fit in with the Okie style of politics. But is it Obama or a symptom of a larger disease wiping out a Democrat’s chances of taking Oklahoma’s electoral votes?

Consider this: Obama’s vote percentage in the most recent SoonerPoll was 29%.  In comparison to the Tulsa World’s Oklahoma Poll results over the last two decades, that’s lower than Pres. Clinton during the Lewinsky scandal or Gov. David Walters’ midnight court arraignments over campaign finance charges.  And yet, Pres. Obama has not been involved in a similar scandal or charged with a crime.

It is no longer a secret how much Oklahoma voters disapprove of Obama. Even national political pundits know the Sooner state ranks at the top of the states Obama is least likely to win this November. The latest SoonerPoll results of the president’s popularity show him losing to Republican Mitt Romney by nearly 30 points. Since he became president, Obama has never had more than 34 percent of Oklahomans approving the job he has done in the White House.

The president’s in-state numbers show he doesn’t just have problems with moderate and independent voters, but nearly half of voters in the President’s own Democratic Party are not keen with him. The SoonerPoll survey found only 54 percent of Democrats in the poll said they will vote for Obama. During the state’s primary election in June, Obama barely had more than 50 percent of Oklahoma Democrats’ vote for him.

So the question persists: is it the President or is there something else causing even Oklahoma Democrats to shy away from their leader?

Terry Endsley, who participated in the poll, has been a registered Democrat his entire voting life down in a traditional Democrat strong-hold of McCurtain County. He says the reason he is voting for Romney is not just because of Obama.

“I don’t like the Democratic leadership,” Endsley said. “Obama, (Nancy) Pelosi, (Harry) Reid, I don’t like any of them.”

Endsley said he votes for the person, not the party, but is increasingly finding himself siding with Republicans more than his registered party. The last Democrat he remembers supporting for president was Bill Clinton. That was 16 years ago.

“It’s been decades in the making, but more and more Democrats in Oklahoma have subtlety described their move away from voting for the Democratic candidate as ‘voting for the person and not the party,'” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com.  “There was a time when Democratic leaders would encourage voters to ‘pull the rooster tail,’ in essence voting straight-party Democrat.  Those days of getting registered Democrats to do it seem to be gone.”

Dr. Jeanette Mendez, head of the Political Science Department at Oklahoma State University, defines it as an identification issue.  “Oklahoma once had strong ties with the Democratic party and the change to voting Republican has occurred in the last few decades,” said Dr. Mendez, “but people have not necessarily changed their party identification. ”

Perhaps the tectonic plates of party identification and registration, that have been slowly moving for decades, have moved enough for us to see a more measurable change.   But, has the convergence of conservatism and the GOP become permanent,and can or will it ever move back?

“Oklahoma is a conservative state, and I think this is intensifying,” said Mendez.  “We see Republicans in Oklahoma gain in the state House and Senate, and I think these gains start to show why Obama has a few points lower support overall than in 2008.”

And then there is Oklahoma’s largest industry, oil and natural gas.  By no means can Obama be considered ‘friendly’ to an industry that surveys have shown many Oklahomans recognize as a major employer of high paying jobs in the state and its impact on the Oklahoma economy.

“The President is more than just hostile to the oil and gas industry,” said Mike Cantrell, Co-Founder of OERB and VP of Governmental Affairs with Continental Resources in Oklahoma City.  “If he could rid the U.S. of all fossil fuels, he would, putting thousands of Oklahomans directly out of a job and thousands even more indirectly out of one.”

Cantrell credits the OERB, Oklahoma Energy Resource Board, as the reason more and more Oklahomans see the importance of oil and gas to the state, noting that just 15 years ago many Oklahomans were simply unaware of the economic impact of the industry on the state.  “Oklahomans are voting today with more information than ever, knowing more of what directly would impact their families and which candidates support or oppose those issues.”

Pat Hall, former State Democratic Party Chairman, believes Obama’s number will improve and that this will surprise a lot of Oklahomans.

“By November 6,  women, African Americans and Latinos especially in urban areas along with moderate Democrats,” said Hall, “will become more educated on the candidates and vote to re-elect President Obama.  But,” Hall concedes, “the seven electoral votes from Oklahoma will be cast for Governor Romney.”

Hall is not alone in his assessment and the numbers may prove him right.  The Hispanic and Latino community is the fastest growing population in Oklahoma as reported from the 2012 census, Romney has had a difficult time appealing to women, and African Americans set a turnout record in 2008 for Obama, which can be underestimated this year in polling turnout projections.

Dr. Mendez went on to note that there is a lot left in the campaign and Oklahoma has quite a few independents.  “These independents can bridge the gap to bring Obama’s numbers closer to what they were in 2008,” said Mendez.  “But based on what is shown here and the  trends in the state elections in 2008 and 2010, Obama will not do better than he did in 2008, and most likely will do worse.”

Turnout and enthusiasm are always critical elements for Election Day.  In 2010, both were on the side of Republicans who gained a complete sweep of every statewide office, as well as adding to its majorities in the State House and Senate.  While it was widely argued that the 2010 election was a referendum on President Obama, he was, nonetheless, not on the ballot and African American voters may now meet or exceed this November the record turnout in 2008.

In nationwide polling so far, enthusiasm however seems to be on the side of Republicans, but there is still a lot of time on clock until Election Day for that to change.

Dr. Richard Johnson, Chair of the Political Science Department at Oklahoma City University, questions whether Oklahomans are more pro-Romney or just anti-Obama.

Oklahoma is among the most conservative states in the country and voting trends favor Republicans generally in Oklahoma,” said Johnson.  “But, the question is, do the results reflect an endorsement of Governor Romney or a repudiation of President Obama?”

Another poll participant put it this way.  Clint Johnson, a Democrat in one of the party’s last remaining comfort zones of Cherokee County, said he is choosing Romney as the lesser of two evils.  “I think we’re screwed either way,” he said.

Bill Clinton was also the last Democratic presidential candidate to get Johnson’s vote. He feels the party has left him.  “The Democratic Party of 10 years ago is not the same Democratic Party today,” Johnson said.

 

Oklahoma Political Experts

 

“Governor Romney will win Oklahoma and I trust the results of the Sooner Poll when it comes to the Presidential preference in 2012 for those Oklahoma ‘likely voters’ over 45 years of age that are white.  I think President Obama will surprise a lot of Oklahomans on election day.  I believe that this excellent poll can only give a snapshot in time of where younger voters, African American voters and Latino voters are today and sadly too few of them are willing to be surveyed.  By November 6th  women, African Americans and Latinos especially in urban areas along with moderate Democrats will become more educated on the candidates and vote to re-elect President Obama.  But, the seven electoral votes from Oklahoma will be cast for Governor Romney.”  – Pat Hall, former State Democratic Party Chairman

 

“I would  have to say that I am not shocked by the polling results.  Oklahoma is among the most conservative states in the country and Governor Romney is much closer to most Oklahomans on issues and ideology than President Obama.  Voting trends favor Republicans generally in Oklahoma and the current president failed to carry a single county in Oklahoma when he ran for his first term in 2008.  The question is, do the results reflect an endorsement of Governor Romney or a repudiation of President Obama?” – Dr. Richard Johnson, Chair for the Department of Political Science at Oklahoma City University

 

“There is an identification issue.  Oklahoma once had strong ties with the Democratic Party and the change to voting Republican has occurred in the last few decades, but people have not necessarily changed their party identification.  Among those identifying themselves as very liberal or somewhat liberal, Obama polls very well.  Another 153 report being moderate and it looks like the moderates are in fact Democrats.  However, combing liberal and moderate still falls short of the total number of people who say they are Democrats.  Based on this, I don’t find it surprising to see Democrats voting for Obama, because it looks like the Democrats might not be traditional Democrats.

 Oklahoma is a conservative state.   Being the only state in the nation to have all counties vote for McCain shows how conservative Oklahoma is.  And I think this is intensifying.  We see Republicans in Oklahoma gain in the state House and Senate, and I think these gains start to show why Obama has a few points lower support overall than in 2008.

Obama polls well among most of the groups people who identify as the Democratic base, in particular those 18-24, African Americans and those with income below $25,000.  If you look at the income distribution in Oklahoma with respect to party, Eastern Oklahoma stands out with higher rates of poverty, and also more Democrats elected to the state House and Senate and Congress compared to the rest of Oklahoma.  Given this, I would expect a certain amount of support for Obama, and much of it in urban areas and Eastern Oklahoma.

There is a lot left in the campaign and Oklahoma has quite a few independents.  These independents can bridge the gap to bring Obama’s numbers closer to what they were in 2008.  But based on what is shown here and the trends in the state elections in 2008 and 2010, Obama will not do better than he did in 2008, and most likely will do worse.” – Dr. Jeanette Mendez, Political Science Department Head at Oklahoma State University

 

“The President is more than just hostile to the oil and gas industry. If he could rid the U.S. of all fossil fuels, he would, putting thousands of Oklahomans directly out of a job and thousands even more indirectly out of one. The President has not shied away from using any and every department of his administration to further regulate the oil and gas industry, pushing production down and prices at the pump up.

The OERB, Oklahoma Energy Resource Board, is the reason more and more Oklahomans see the importance of oil and gas to the state, which has spent nearly two decades educating the public of the economic impact of the industry on the state.  Oklahomans are voting today with more information than ever, knowing more of what directly would impact their families and  their jobs, and which candidates support or oppose those issues.”  — Mike Cantrell, Co-Founder of OERB and VP of Governmental Affairs with Continental Resources


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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.

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 SoonerPoll.com.

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).

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President Barack Obama’s approval rating in Oklahoma has fallen 6.3 points since August to 28.9 percent, according to a recent SoonerPoll.com study.

The November study found that 28.9 percent of likely Oklahoma voters approve of the way President Barack Obama is doing his job. By comparison, 64.8 percent disapproved and 6.3 percent had no opinion.

Approval ratings from early May indicated that 33.6 percent of likely Oklahoma voters polled approved of the president, a marked improvement from his all-time low that coincided with the 2010 midterm elections.

In August the president’s approval reached 34.6 percent, the height of a rally that proved to be short lived.  Since August, the president’s approval has fallen dramatically and is now just 2.8 points higher than his all-time low of 26.1 percent in November 2010.

“Last May we theorized that the bump in the president’s approval rating may have been tied to the significant foreign policy event that was the death of Osama Bin Laden,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll.com, who went on to note that rallies of this kind are not usually sustainable, and almost always fall away over time.

“Obama enjoyed a few months of higher approval in the state, however a lot has changed since then and he has been plagued with a host of issues that affect public perception including but not limited to the debt crisis and the Solyndra scandal, not to mention a constant barrage from GOP primary candidates who have had center stage ,” Shapard said.

In depth crosstab analysis reveals that 88.6 percent of Republicans disapprove of the president’s job approval. Results also indicate that a 47.1 percent plurality of Democrats disapprove of the president, while only 46 percent of Democrats approve of the president.

Further analysis shows that those 68.5 percent of respondents who identify themselves as liberals approve of the president.  By comparison, 12.5 percent of conservatives approve of the president.

It is worth noting that, according to the Tulsa World Oklahoma Poll archives, the previous low for a sitting president was Bill Clinton’s 37 percent approval rating at the end of 1994, putting Obama’s rating well below any other president’s since the Tulsa World began polling 19 years ago.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, commissioned and conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 512 likely voters from Nov. 17 – Dec. 6. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.3 percent.

 

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Early May approval ratings from SoonerPoll reveal that 33.6 percent of likely Oklahoma voters polled approve of the way President Barack Obama is doing his job. Though the president’s approval remains low in Oklahoma, it is a marked improvement from the steady decline that coincided with the run-up to the midterm elections which culminated in an all-time low of 26.1 percent in November.

In January of this year, SoonerPoll measured the president’s approval rating for the first time since the mid-term elections and found that 29.8 percent of those polled approved of the president. If January’s numbers represent the beginning of a recovery, then the latest numbers, which are just slightly lower than they were before the mid-term dip, may indicate a return to normalcy.

“The president’s numbers in Oklahoma have fallen to the Democratic national vote base in the state,” Keith Gaddie, Vice President of SoonerPoll.com, said. “While many Oklahomans gave the new president the benefit of the doubt after the 2008 election, events have not gone his way, and his approval rating fell, and continues at a very low level.”

Public perception is inextricably tied to current events. In all probability, the months surrounding the midterm elections, which were often marred by anti-establishment and anti-Democrat sentiments, are what led to the president’s midterm dip in approval.

Similarly, it may be important to note that the most recent approval rating numbers came from a poll that went in the field on May 2, the day after it was announced that Osama Bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, had been killed in a military action ordered by the president.

“There is often some bump after a significant foreign policy event, a ‘rally’ effect,” Gaddie noted. “The president enjoyed a small rally, but rallies depend on muting criticism, and they invariably fall away, especially in times of economic uncertainty.”

Of those who identify themselves as Democrats, 53.4 percent approve of the president. Democrats account for 77 percent of Obama’s approval rating.

Further analysis shows that 72.4 percent of self-identified liberals approve of the president. Liberals constituted 24.5 percent of those who approve of President Obama. Only 12.5 percent of conservatives and 10.6 percent of Republicans approve of the president.

SoonerPoll.com, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster commissioned the poll. The scientific study was conducted using live interviewers by telephone of 509 likely voters from May 2 – 12. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.34 percent.

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