A plurality of Osage County Democrats supported Hillary Clinton, while county Republicans chose Ted Cruz in last week’s Presidential Preference Primary Election.
Results of the March 1 balloting for the 28 Osage County precincts showed Democrat frontrunner Clinton garnering 2,390 votes for 47.49 percent of votes cast by Democrats and independents. The Democrats other major contender, Bernie Sanders, was close behind with 2,327 votes, or 46.23 percent of the total.
Five other candidates — Michael A. Steinberg, Keith Judd, Roque Rocky de la Fuente, Martin J. O’Malley and Star Locke — split the remaining 6 1/2 percent of the Democrat/independent votes.
Osage County’s Republican voters favored Cruz with 2,050 votes or 37.95 percent of the total, edging out national leader Donald J. Trump, who was named on 1,700 county ballots (31.43 percent). Next on the list was Marco Rubio with 1,087 votes, or 20.12 percent, and Ben Carson with 345 (6.39 percent). Vote totals for other GOP candidates included: John R. Kasich, 137; Mike Huckabee, 24; Jeb Bush, 21; Rand Paul, 20; Carly FIorina, 5; Chris Christie, 5; Rick Santorum, 4, and Lindsey Graham, 4. Total Republican votes cast — 5,402.
Statewide totals for Oklahoma Democrats and independents showed Sanders with 174,228 votes (51.88 percent) surpassing Clinton’s 139,443 (41.52 percent). Cruz received 158,078 votes from Oklahoma Republicans (for 34.37 percent), while Trump had 130,267 votes (28.32 percent) and Rubio 119,633 votes (26.01 percent).
Latest voter registration totals for Osage County showed 12,179 Democrats and 10,111 Republicans, with 2,810 registered as independent. The county’s total of 25,100 registered voters.
Official voter registration statistics for the state show independents are the fastest growing segment of the Oklahoma electorate, State Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax said. Oklahoma’s official voter registration statistics are counted every year on January 15. This year’s count showed 1,978,807 registered voters.
Historical trends have continued as the Republican and independent share of voter registration increased while the percentage of Democrats decreased. The number of Republican voters went up by about 3 percent from 2014 to 2016, a net increase of about 26,000 voters. The number of Democrats fell by 6 percent, a net loss of 53,000 voters from 2014. Independents, meanwhile, had a net increase of 28,000 voters in that period.
"What really stands out when you look at these numbers is the growth in Independent voters," Ziriax said. "The number of Independents grew by about 11.6 percent in the past two years."
Oklahoma’s registered voters as of Jan. 15, 2016, included: Democrats — 832,059 (42 percent); Republicans — 880,130 (44.5 percent); Independents — 266,605 (13.5 percent). Total registered voters in state: 1,978,807.
The State Election Board began recording statewide voter registration statistics by party in 1960.
An historical timeline for Oklahoma shows the following:
• in 1960, 82 percent of the state’s voters were registered as Democrats, with Republicans making up 17.6 percent of the total and Independents accounting for 0.4 percent;
• numbers for 20 years later showed Democrats’ registrations slipping to 75.8 percent over Republicans, at 22.8 percent, with Independents logging in at 1.4 percent;
• two more decades along, in 2000, the registered Democrats held 56.7 percent of the state total compared to 35 percent by Republicans and 8.3 percent for Independents;
• the number of Oklahoma’s registered Republicans surpassed Democrats for the first time in January 2015.