Republicans and independents continue voter registration surge in Oklahoma
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Published: 01-Oct-2012

Republicans and Independents continue to close the voter registration gap with the state’s Democratic party, but brand new numbers indicate that all three political designations have more adherents than just a few weeks ago.

For that matter, even the moribund Americans Elect party has more members than before the June 26 primary.

Republicans jumped to 873,351 (42.2 percent of all voters), compared to 851,759 before the primary. Independent voters now number 244,562 (11.8 percent), a jump from the 235,321 registrants just three months ago. Americans Elect had only six registered members in June, but the essentially-defunct party now has 16. 

As for the Sooner State’s Democratic party, 950,223 are in the once-dominant party (46 percent), compared to 942,987 registrants in June. 

Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax described the recent trend for CapitolBeatOK: “Since January, there has been a net increase of 45,094 Republicans, a net increase of 15,492 Independents, and a net increase of 6,940 Democrats. Also back in January, Democrats were 47.1 percent of registered voters, Republicans were 41.4 percent, and Independents were 11.5 percent.”

Despite the modest surge for once-dominant Democrats, their fortunes continue to decline, proportionately. In June, the GOP had 42 percent of the registered electorate, that jumped .2 percent. Independents in June were 11.59 percent of the electorate, they constitute 11.8 percent of voters today. 

Just ten years ago, 53.7 percent of Oklahoma’s registered voters were Democrats, while Republicans were 36.3 percent and Independents amounted to 10 percent. 

A notable tipping point came early in 2010, when the number of registered Democrats dropped below 1 million for the first time in modern state history. 

CapitolBeatOK tracked the registration numbers regularly in recent years; a comprehensive listing drawn from the Election Board’s archives is below:

  Year             Democrat                Republican       Independent          Total 
1996             1,112,560                 624,240             86,948                    1,823,748
1997             1,171,620                 693,076             122,139                  1,986,982
1998             1,158,754                 691,942             139,626                  1,990,591
1999             1,183,523                 718,534             157,760                  2,059,817
2000             1,189,332                 734,382             174,649                  2,098,750
2001             1,233,481                 803,908             202,266                  2,240,681
2002             1,079,298                 729,393             199,164                  2,008,036
2003             1,099,458                 758,275             214,887                  2,072,935
2004             1,022,442                 720,121             195,334                  1,938,377
2005             1,100,263                 822,131             227,163                  2,149,557
2006             1,021,053                 778,405             209,515                  2,008,973 
2007             1,045,490                 805,607             224,464                  2,075,561     
2008             1,012,594                 790,713             219,230                  2,022,537
2009             1,077,616                 860,378             246,002                  2,183,996
2010              999,855                   813,158             225,607                  2,038,620   (Jan)
2010              998,139                   831,706             233,768                  2,063,613   (Sept)
2011              999,943                   849,332             240,855                  2,090,130   (Jan)
2012              942,987                   851,759             235,321                  2,030,073*  (Jun)
2012              950,223                   873,351             244,562                  2,068,152*  (Sept)

* six voters were registered with Americans Elect in June; 16 are today. 

You may contact Patrick B. McGuigan at Patrick@capitolbeatok.com and follow us on Twitter: @capitolbeatok.

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