Story By Randy Krehbiel World Staff Writer.
Oklahoma’s 53rd Legislature will be the first with Republicans in complete control of state government. The GOP owns large majorities in the House and Senate and inhabits every statewide office.
The voters, however, have a sobering message: Only 40 percent think the Republicans will run the state any better than Democrats did.
And only 13 percent agree with the statement: “The Legislature spends most of its time working on issues important to me.”
Representative Don Armes (R-Faxon) talks to Keith Gaddie, Vice President of SoonerPoll, about Republican expectations for the 2011 session and the budget crisis.
Such were the findings of the most recent Oklahoma Poll, which asked 520 Oklahomans with a history of voting what they thought of the Legislature and state government.
“I’m a Republican, but I don’t vote that way always,” said poll respondent Patricia Duff of Tulsa. “If they quit blowing out steam and go to work, they might get something done. But they’ll be like the Democrats. Mediocre.”
“I don’t know,” said Jeff Molina of Sapulpa. “It’s hard to tell. From past experiences, they haven’t proven themselves.
Representative Earl Sears (R-Bartlesville) talks to Bill Shapard, CEO of SoonerPoll, about the budget shortfall and his role as Appropriations and Budget chairman.
“It’s wishful thinking,” Molina said, “and maybe I’m wrong, but I’d like to see them stand up for the rights of people.”
The good news for the GOP was that only 16 percent thought Democrats could run the state better than Republicans. Thirty-eight percent said the two would be about the same.
Republicans, Democrats and independents responded to the question quite differently.