August 29, 2004


Voting With One Hand on Bible in Oklahoma: Voters in the GOP stronghold say they identify with President Bush over moral issues. (Maria L. La Ganga, August 29, 2004, LA Times)

They crowded into a cavernous auditorium in this hard luck city for their marching orders, more than 2,000 soldiers in what was described as the fight for "the most important issue facing Western civilization in our time": the preservation of marriage "as a holy covenant between God, a man and a woman."

Pray, they were told. Vote in November. Write your senator; here's the address. Men were advised to do the dishes at home, and women to hug their husbands, whether they wanted to or not. Equal parts religious revival, campaign event and counseling session, the greater Tulsa "pro-marriage rally" last week ) was living proof that a key way to influence the ballots of many Oklahomans is through their Bibles — not their billfolds.

The state has lost nearly 20% of its manufacturing jobs during the Bush administration, and has lagged the nation in recovery. Tulsa and its surrounding communities, for example, have lost about 24,000 jobs as three major industries — oil and gas, telecommunications, and aerospace — took hits.

In many areas, that would be a blueprint for change, a sign that the incumbent should be shoved out of the Oval Office. But not in Oklahoma, one of the reddest of the red states — the designation for places where support for President Bush is especially strong.

Voters here tend to view boom-and-bust cycles as outside of the presidential purview. And in state polls, Bush's lead hovers near 20 percentage points.

Democrats were daydreaming last year about OK being in play, after the Steve Largent implosion, and as late as this Summer about winning the Senate seat. Dream on.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 29, 2004 5:15 PM

New Hampshire
West Virginia

Are there any blue states in play is a better question....

Posted by: AML at August 29, 2004 6:00 PM

Blue states in play:

New Mexico

I think there are equal numbers of red and blue states in play. I do think OJ's point is overstated on this one.

Posted by: rds at August 29, 2004 6:28 PM

The campaigns are acting as if the Upper Left Washington is in play too, considering in the past few weeks both candidates have made appearances in the Seattle area.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 29, 2004 7:34 PM


Those aren't in play.


Bush has a lead in almost all of those.

Posted by: oj at August 29, 2004 7:44 PM

Hasn't Kerry already pulled funding from his ad campaign in Arkansas?

Posted by: AC at August 29, 2004 8:11 PM

AML - In Zogby poll land those might be in play. Kerry leads in those states have given way to small Bush leads - watch for the Bush lead to move outside the margin (Ohio has already) after the RNC.
RDS - agree with those although Oregon is a stretch but if same sex marriage is on the ballot it might help Bush. And Washington might be added to that list as Raoul notes - Bush would campaign there to help Nethercutt as well.
AC - Yes I remember seeing a note somewhere that internal polls are starting to show Arkansas moving solidly into Bush camp and Kerry will probably drop that state soon.

Posted by: AWW at August 29, 2004 10:06 PM

If you believe the recent polls here in Oregon, Kerry is WAY ahead of Bush. If you believe history, less than 7,000 votes made the difference in 2000. If the Oregon GOP (myself included) can't get energized enough to make up that difference, we don't deserve to be a Red state. Portland and the greater Willamette Valley are generally liberal cess pools, but much of the rest of the state skews further to the right. If Bush doesn't win in Oregon, it will only be because the Party failed him.

Posted by: John Resnick at August 29, 2004 10:11 PM

AC: Saw somewhere they dropped advertising in Arkansas and Louisiana.

Just returned from Oklahoma this weekend. I saw a few Kerry signs driving around the OU campus, but fewer than I would have expected. Coburn is going to win that Senate seat.

Posted by: kevin whited at August 29, 2004 11:28 PM

Maine is not really in play. Bush will get 1 of its votes, Kerry will get 2.

PA is also not in play. Bush is behind and he also has to overcome one of the largest voter fraud rackets in the country.

Oregon is not in play.

Wisc? Minn? ok, I can give you those.

Posted by: AML at August 30, 2004 10:44 AM


Bush leads in PA and ME is always winnable for the GOP in presidential races--though the opening of deer season complicates matters.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2004 10:50 AM