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State House

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma voters were satisfied overall with the outcome of the Presidential and the U.S. Senate elections that were held earlier this month, according to a post election survey conducted by SoonerPoll.com.

The telephone poll of 500 statewide likely voters commissioned by Fox25 in Oklahoma City and KSWO Channel 7 in Lawton was conducted Monday to Wednesday of this week. The margin of error was 4.4%.

A full 92% of Republican voters in Oklahoma were satisfied with the outcome of the presidential race, with just under half of all Democrats satisfied. Among those Democrat voters, 81% of conservative voters were satisfied while an almost equal amount of liberal Democrat voters were unsatisfied.

‘Moral issues’ ranked as the number one issue (nearly 40%) among Oklahoma voters when going to the polls earlier this month. While Democrats, Independents and Republicans all picked ‘moral issues’ as their number one issue, liberal voters chose the ‘economy/jobs’ as their number one issue.

While Oklahoma has been trending toward Republicans, the change in control over the State House still shows divide between the two parties. Of Republican voters, 90% were happy with the shift of power, although 56% of Democrat voters were unhappy with the change. African-American voters, who are pre-dominantly Democrat voters, were the unhappiest at 82%.

As far the presidential and senatorial debates, slightly more voters found them to be unhelpful. Women voters were slightly more likely to find the debates helpful than male voters.

Television was the top choice among voters when it comes to getting news about the elections, and all voters felt the press was fair in the way it covered both senate candidates, although Oklahomans felt the press was slightly fairer to Brad Carson (63%) than Tom Coburn (57%).

Most voters felt the wording on the ballot for the state questions was more helpful than unhelpful, 58% to 38%. However, more Oklahomans felt the news media was even helpful when it came to informing them on the state questions, 62% to 33%.

While not on the ballot this year, Governor Brad Henry (D), Lt. Governor Mary Fallin (R) and Senior U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe all received high marks from Oklahomans above 60%. Attorney General Drew Edmondson was just above 50%.

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OKLAHOMA CITY – For the first time since 1922, Republicans will likely take control of the State House of Representatives after next Tuesday’s elections and gain an overall 6 seats, according to SoonerPoll.com.

The telephone polls were conducted in competitive house districts from October 26 through October 29. Each poll had a sample size of 300 likely voters, and had a margin of error of 5.5%.

House seats were divided into six columns from Solidly Democrat to Solidly Republican. Freshman lawmakers or vulnerable candidates were placed in two other columns for likely Democrats and likely Republicans, as well candidates running for open seats with high registration to their respective party. Candidates polling within the margin of error were placed in the remaining two columns of Leaning Democrat or Leaning Republican.

Chart of State House races

If Republicans do take the majority of the house, it will be tight. According to estimates, Democrats have a solid hold on 22, mostly incumbents, with 16 likely Democrat seats. About half of those that are likely to fall Democrat are open seats. Republicans have a solid hold on 25 seats, all incumbents but one. Twenty-one more are likely to go Republican, about half of which are incumbents.

Term limits and early retirements this year created the opportunities for the Republicans to run competitive races in districts where Democrat incumbents enjoyed re-election ease for years. Of the 17 competitive races, three are Democratic incumbents and the remainder is all open seats. Only two Republican seats were found to be vulnerable.

The Republican pick-up seats vary statewide, from western Oklahoma to urban Tulsa.

Republicans have never had a majority in the State House. The last time the Democrats lost control of the State House was when the Republicans and other fractious House members got behind Republican Speaker George B. Schwab of Nowata in 1921, according to OU Political Science Professor Keith Gaddie, editor of SoonerPolitics.com.

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