OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma voters returned to the polls Tuesday and they painted the state bright red, endorsing incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump by more than 65 percent. Trump received 1,018,870 votes to Democrat Joe Biden’s 503,289 votes in the contest for president.
The win gives Trump all seven of the state’s electoral votes. A presidential candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win.
Though state voters left no doubt who they preferred for president, across the country votes were still be tallied in the race. As of 9:30 a.m. Nov. 5, Biden led Trump with 224 electoral votes to 213.
So far, Biden has received 68,794,718 votes to Trump’s 66,136,418. Experts say the vote count could continue throughout the week with several states still in play including Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina, Wisconsin and Michigan.
On the state level, voters re-elected U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe for the fifth time. Inhofe captured 977,813 votes to Democrat Abby Broyles 509,186. Two independents and a libertarian candidate also ran, but the three only received about 4 percent of the vote.
Oklahoma’s four Republican congressmen kept their seats, each pulling margins beyond 64 percent. Kendra Horn, the state’s lone Democrat member of Congress fell to challenger Stephanie Bice, a Republican state Senator. Bice beat horn 158,044 votes to 145,541 – about 52 percent to 48 percent.
In addition to their GOP votes for president and congress, state voters also added five members to the Oklahoma House of Representatives GOP caucus. Prior to election night, Republicans held 77 seats in the state legislature. Tuesday’s vote added five seats to the GOP, bringing their majority to 82.
House Speaker Charles McCall said Republicans added to their numbers because voters wanted growth, freedom and conservative government.
“It was encouraging to make gains statewide, from picking up all rural seats for the first time in state history to adding representation in the Oklahoma City area,” McCall said in a media statement, issued late Tuesday evening. “In 15 years as a majority, House Republicans have focused on building a better business climate, cleaning up state finances, and investing in our future through education, infrastructure and more. We are honored to be asked to continue this successful work by leading with civility, respect and results for the people of Oklahoma.”
Still, some Democrats held their seats despite intense opposition. In House District 93, former Republican State Representative Mike Christian fell short in his effort to defeat incumbent Mickey Dollens, a Democrat. Political consultant Bobby Stem said that race drew national attention including an endorsement from Roger Stone, a confident of President Trump. “That makes that seat interesting,” Stem said.
In the state Senate, Republicans lost one incumbent but, at the same time, picked off a Democrat seat to essentially maintain the status quo.
Democrat Jo Anna Dossett defeated Republican Cheryl Baber with 50.9 percent of the vote for Senate District 35. In Tulsa, however, incumbent Democrat incumbent Sen. Allison Ikley-Freeman, who was recently injured in a car wreck, fell to Republican Cody Rogers.
Voters also shot down to state questions, defeating SQ 814, a proposal that would have altered how funds from the Tobacco Settlement Endowment Trust were used and SQ 805, which would have prevented judges and prosecutors from using sentence enhancements to lengthen the time that repeat, nonviolent offenders spend in prison.
Stem, president of the Oklahoma Association of General Contractors, said opposition to the state question include several high profile officials. “I think it’s a little confusing,” he said.
Across the state, voters stood in line – some for several hours – to cast their ballots. And though some early voting was hampered by a late October ice storm, officials with State Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security announced that all polling places have power for today’s election.
In Oklahoma City Elbert Franklin, a voter new to the area, said he waited for more than two hours to vote.
“This is my first time to vote in Oklahoma City on a national election,” he said. “I had always voted in Sulphur, a small town of 5,000 people, before. Never waited in line for more than 10 minutes. This year we got to wait in line for about two hours, but it was worth every bit of it to have the freedom to vote for the candidate of our choice.”
Eleven-year-old Nolan Prock went with his mom to vote. He said the trip was similar to his previous ones, but the social distancing protocols changed the experience. “It’s pretty much the same as it has been, but things are different in terms of masks, social distancing, and sanitizing all items,” he said.
This story was updated at 9:44 a.m. Nov. 5