Oklahoma, which hasn’t gone for a Democrat in a general election since 1968, hasn’t received much attention from the Democratic contenders. This is one of only two states where Obama ran no television ads (Illinois is the other), and Clinton has made only cursory advances. On the Republican side, this solidly evangelical state was courted by Huckabee, but seems slated to go for McCain. Romney's Mormonism is a huge liability in the Sooner State, where he lags far behind in polls.
Delegates: Democrats, 47 (38 in primary; 9 superdelegates); Republicans, 41.
Format: Both Democrats and Republicans run closed primaries, but the Democrats are proportional and the Republicans are winner-take-all.
Recent Polls: A January 27 poll, taken before Edwards dropped out of the race, put Clinton ahead of Edwards 44-27, with Obama at a distant 19. On the Republican side, McCain managed a comfortable 9 point lead over Huckabee at 37 to 28. Romney places third with 19.
Democratic In-State Fundraising: Hillary Clinton: $434,704; Barack Obama: $369,996.
Republican In-State Fundraising: John McCain: $181,131; Mitt Romney: $84,450; Mike Huckabee: $23,712.
Endorsements: Clinton has tapped into the Democratic machine here, picking up DNC National Committee Member Betty McElderry and Oklahoma Secretary of State Susan Savage. Obama has received no major endorsements.
Senator Jim Inhofe originally endorsed Fred Thompson and has not officially endorsed another candidate since his withdrawal from the race. It’s a big disappointment to the Huckabee campaign not to get an endorsement from someone with such strong evangelical ties. Senator Tom Coburn backed McCain, as did Oklahoma House Speaker Lance Cargill. Coburn’s endorsement came as a surprise to many, as McCain’s stance on immigration issues is unpopular in Oklahoma.
Demographics: The state is overwhelmingly white and skews older, which doesn’t bode well for Obama. Clinton leads him in the polls in every category except for African-Americans, who make up only 8 percent of the population.
Analysis: Clinton is a shoo-in, and just to make sure, she sent Bill and Chelsea to Oklahoma University on January 30. Even with Edwards out of the race, it is unlikely that Obama will get a significant portion of the delegates. For the Republicans, it seems that McCain will win, though not by a landslide. Huckabee hopes to draw a significant portion of values voters to his corner, but these votes haven’t been enough to hand him a victory elsewhere. “Huckabee will get a bigger showing here than elsewhere, but McCain is still going to win,” says Michael Givel, a professor of political science at Oklahoma University. Romney has essentially no chance: Givel points out that while immigration is a huge issue, local voters are more concerned with Romney’s Mormonism.
Get a rundown of other states at play at TNR's Super Tuesday Primer, updated with new states every day leading up to February 5.
By Cara Parks