Red-Voting Oklahoma Supports Obama

Monday, January 19th 2009, 8:02 pm
By: News 9

By Kirsten McIntyre, NEWS 9

GUTHRIE, Oklahoma -- On January 20, Barack Obama will be sworn in as America's first African American president.

Although only 34 percent of voting Oklahomans cast their ballot for Obama, many residents said they're in support of the new president.

"You can feel it," Oklahoma Democrat Ivan Holmes said. "There's a lot of excitement in the air."

Holmes is among the Oklahoma Democrats gathered in Washington D.C. to watch as Obama takes his oath of office.

"I just hope their expectations aren't too great," Holmes said. "You know he's inherited a difficult situation with the war and the economy."

Gary Jones, a Republican, said although he may not always agree with Obama's policies, he does recognize Barack Obama's place in history.

"Before, when we said African Americans couldn't vote, not the president will be African American," Jones said.

In Guthrie, the town the was once Oklahoma's capitol, American flags lined the streets.

"I didn't vote for Obama, but I'm a supporter of Obama," Allan Jobe said. "I pray every night for his success."

Emily Rudd, a 13-year-old, said she'll likely watch the Inauguration at school. She said she paid close attention to the presidential election.

"I think it's good we have a black president, but personally, I don't think he's the right one," Rudd said. "Maybe if we give him a chance, maybe he'll change my opinion."

Some residents voiced concerns of Obama's economic and social positions, but Oklahomans said Obama needs a chance and their support as the country continues to struggle through the current hardship.

Watch parties are planned throughout the state, including some at schools and the Oklahoma Democratic Headquarters.