OKLAHOMA CITY — In a tight, unpredictable presidential race, a prominent Oklahoma democrat says voters in the Sooner State are sure to benefit.
“We’ve been very fortunate this year in Oklahoma,” said Joe Dorman, a longtime state representative and former candidate for governor. “We’re seeing more television commercials, we’re seeing more appearances by candidates. Having a close race like this is good for Oklahomans to have the chance to meet these people up close and in person.”
Oklahomans will get another chance Sunday night, when former President Bill Clinton is expected to headline a Get Out the Vote event at Oklahoma City’s northeast academy.
Oklahoma is one of a dozen states casting primary votes on Super Tuesday: March 1.
“Well certainly the Clinton campaign has rolled out the big guns with Bill Clinton campaigning out for Hillary,” said Dorman. “It certainly does make a difference for individuals to visit and be seen in person. When the candidates are here in the state, having the chance to look people in the eye and give that speech at a rally, it certainly resonates with voters.”
Clinton is in the midst of a tight race with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Polls show her leading in Oklahoma, though Sanders has gained ground.
And though a Democrat hasn’t won Oklahoma in a general election since 1964, Dorman says anything can happen in what has been something of a wild primary season.
“With different dynamics in an election, it certainly makes the case for candidates not to overlook any state,” he said. “The candidates want to do well early on in the primaries so they have momentum going into the elections following Super Tuesday. So a showing in Oklahoma will resonate in other states and certainly lend credibility down the road for the candidate to be the nominee.”
For the first time, Democrats have opened their primary to independent voters.