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A sliver of liberalism in Oklahoma

Filed by KOSU News in Feature.
November 8, 2012
 

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Oklahoma’s boast as the reddest of the red states in the country may not hold true – Utah wins that claim this election by raw numbers- but Republican Mitt Romney still captured all 77 counties in the state. There are pockets, however, where Democrats managed to maintain an advantage. Take House District 88…

It sits in the northwest heart of Oklahoma City, roughly bound by 13th street to the south, 36th street to the north, and running between Interstates 44 and 235. That means Heritage Hills, Mesta Park, Midtown, and the Paseo and Plaza Districts. On Election Day, business was brisk, but not overwhelming, as I found out at a polling place:

“There’s no such thing as the typical voter here in House District 88. I’ve been here for about an hour at this polling place just off Northwest 23rd, and have seen white people walking in, have seen African Americans, have seen Vietnamese as well, single mothers, so many different types of people, from different walks of life.”

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“We have a lot of black, Spanish, Vietnamese, and a lot of them are homeowners, so whatever reasons they may choose.”

Wade Vizecki is proudly wearing an Army shirt as he votes Tuesday. Wade, a white man, says he knows about diversity himself too – he’s married to a black woman. All of this diversity adds up to a victory for President Obama in House District 88. Really, he won with 6,132 votes to Romney’s 3,909.

“I see a lot of signs in my neighborhood for both parties. I would think it’s still Republican but I do see a lot of Democratic signs.”

This voter didn’t want to give her name, but said a lot of the support simply came because of demographics.

“I think it is that way, I think it is unique, because I generally just think we’re a Republican state through and through you know, but we’re not.”

And farther down the ticket, the numbers favor the Democratic candidate even more. Kay Floyd ran against Republican Aaron Kaspereit, capturing nearly 75-hundred votes of approximately 11-thousand cast.

Every single person I talked to – and there were more than 10 of them – all said the district was liberal. Yushanda Davis, an African American woman explains.

“I believe it is because we have people from all different parts of the world living right here in this area. And a lot of them have moved here for life, they’re citizens now and they take pride in their citizenship, and they investigate.”

And with that diversity comes a challenge to candidates.

“Because our district is mixed culturally, you don’t get a consensus. When you have so many people from so many different parts of the world living in one area, you can’t just get a consensus like that.”

Delving into the numbers for a second, and you notice that Floyd captured more votes than Obama, meaning some split their vote between the Republican at the top of the ticket, and the Democrat at the bottom. Why?

“Sometimes on the local level, especially you may know someone, and you may trust them, and you know that they’re going to the best that they can. Sometimes it’s not such an ideologically driven agenda,” said Wade.

At least a thousand people put Wade’s reasoning to the ballot and made that decision. But they didn’t need to. For Democrats in House District 88, an impressive win. From the top of the ticket to the bottom and everything in between. Even in one of the reddest of the red states, things aren’t always so easy.

2 Responses to “A sliver of liberalism in Oklahoma”

  1. E Cockrum says:

    I always feel like I'm the only 'blue' in a sea of red. About all the people around me talk as if nobody is a democrat. I believe that people generally liken the Republican party to religion itslf ! (As if it is practically impossible for one to be a christian and a democrat at the same time.)
    I stand or the separation of church and state as I believe that our forefathers did. Not to protect religion from the grasp of government, but to protect government from the grasp of religious fanatics.

  2. tsc says:

    You have articulated exactly how I feel in a red town, county and state. I have found a haven in our small but dedicated local Democrat party. It has saved my sanity. I have actually had to end relationships with people due to their inflexible political and religious views. In social groups here, people assume that everyone
    is a Republican which I find offensive, especially when they bad mouth our president.

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