The filing period for candidacy in Oklahoma ended on April 13 this year. I decided to take a look at just what type of November ballot we will have in Oklahoma this year. What I am going to do is go through each office and list the numbers of elected officials who will be “elected” at which stage of the process. For these purposes we have three stages:
- Uncontested – These are those who will take office simply because they filed for candidacy and no one else did. These are uncontested seats.
- Primary – These are those whose only challengers are within the same party. This means they will have won their seat after primary votes are cast.
- November – These are those who have a challenger outside their party and will be decided in November.
For statewide or federal races, I will actually list each office and when it will be decided. For state house and senate seats, I will simply list the abbreviated total results. You can see a list of all those who filed for candidacy at the State Election Board. Let’s get busy:
- District 1: November. 2 Republican, 1 Democrat and 1 Independent.
- District 2: November. 6 Republicans, 2 Democrats and 1 Independent
- District 3: November. 2Republicans, 2 Democrats and 1 Independent
- District 4: November. 2 Republicans, 2 Democrats and 1 Independent
- District 5: November. 1 Republican, 1 Democrat and 2 Independents
- Long Term: Primary. Republican
- Short Term: Uncontested. Republican
The following is a list of all uncontested districts. All Uncontested districts are going to Republicans this year:
The following are all districts that will be decided in the primaries. All these are going to Republicans this year:
The following are all districts that will be on the November ballot. I have noted if there is an Independent on the ballot (I) or whether there is no Democrat (no D). All districts have at least on Republican running:
Districts: 1,3,5,7,9,11(I),13,15,27(I, no D),31,39,41(I),43
The following are all uncontested Republican districts. 34 in all:
Districts: 5,9,10,11,30,31,33,35,38,40,41,43,46,50,52,54,55,57,58,61,62,67, 69,74,75,80,81,85,90,91,93,95,96,98
The following are all uncontested Democratic districts. 19 in all:
The following are all districts decided in the Republican primary. 13 in all:
The following are all districts decided in the Democratic primary. 1 in all:
The following are all districts that will have a November election. 34 in all:
Districts: 2,3,12,14,16,20,21,22,23,26,27,28,29,32,36,37,42,45,47,48,51,56,60, 66,71,72,76,78,83,86,87,88,99,101
There are no Independents running in the State House.
Based on these numbers, it seems that when it comes to State politics, the vast majority of Oklahomans are not all that politically active. Just based on the State House numbers, Republicans are guaranteed a 47% presence in the house with the possibility of snagging another 34%. This means that Oklahoma will continue to have a Republican controlled House. It is not too surprising to see Democrats in the minority in all races this year. They will have only a guaranteed 20% presence in the House. They may capture some of the 34% up for grabs in November, but I doubt it will be enough to counter the guaranteed presence by the Republicans.
The 2010 election set Republicans in the majority in the Senate. This election looks to seal that majority for another 2 years at least. With 11 of the 24 seats going directly to Republicans with most likely a majority of the November elections going to Republicans, it will be difficult to out the Republican majority in 2014. Essentially, all the 24 seats in 2014 would have to go to non-Republican candidates in order to break their majority hold. Unfortunately, if this year and 2 years ago are any indication, that will be near impossible as most seats are either decided at filing or in the primaries.
Of all races this year there are only 9 Independents running, with 6 of those for US Representative. The state of Independents in this election is most likely a symptom of Oklahoma’s harsh ballot access laws. Since Oklahoma makes it prohibitively difficult to form new parties, many Independents are probably jaded toward the election process. This jaded attitude probably also explains why it has been so difficult to pass ballot access reform as well.
In the end, one thing is for sure, Republicans will continue to control the state government in all branches. We will continue to see a push furthering the Republican agenda. Some of it will be good. Some of it will be bad. But unless we can get a more politically active populace that is willing to challenge the status quo, we will not see real change in this state for at least another 2 years.