Abby Broyles, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- President Obama will take the stage to officially accept his party's nomination at the Democratic National Convention Thursday night in Charlotte. Forty-seven delegates from Oklahoma are at the DNC supporting President Obama in his re-election bid. The President didn't carry a single county in our state four years ago, reflecting a party shift in Oklahoma politics in recent years.
When it comes to politics, a lot can change in a decade. The Democrats controlled the legislature under Democratic Governor Brad Henry not long ago, but the Oklahoma political landscape changed in 2010. Republican Governor Mary Fallin was elected, and now the GOP controls both the House and the Senate, a reality Oklahoma democrats say the GOP has been working on for decades.
"They've been patient. They've spent millions if not billions of dollars on doing this, taking 50 years or more to get to this position," Oklahoma Democratic Party Chair Wallace Collins said.
Chairman Collins says voters in his party have been complacent. He also says the Christian right is showing up more at the polls.
"Certainly when you have religious people and organizations that do politicking from church, from the pulpit, that has an effect on people," Collins said.
Ahead of the 2012 Presidential election, Oklahoma Democratic leaders still hope to change their party's reputation on the national stage.
"That's actually a goal of mine, that Oklahoma would lose that dubious distinction of being the reddest of the red states," Collins says, "I'm certainly hopeful Obama will carry at least one or two counties, if not more."
Despite the shift in recent years, there are still more Democrats registered in Oklahoma, by about 5%.
Democratic leaders say they're working to reach new voters through social media programs.