Barack Obama didn’t fare well in Oklahoma in either the Democratic primary or general election of 2008, and, yesterday, Oklahoma Democrats demonstrated that they’re still not his surest fan base. Obama captured just 57 percent of the primary vote, while pro-life Democrat Randall Terry captured 18 percent. (Not too shabby for a fellow whose primary purpose in contesting Obama was to draw attention to the life issue!). The results have implications beyond the state of Oklahoma, as The Hill explains:
President Obama had been the unanimous victor in every Democratic primary contest leading up to Tuesday.
Obama won Oklahoma with 57 percent, but Terry’s more than 20,000 votes was good enough to carry 12 counties in the deeply red state.
Obama secured 39 of the state’s 50 delegates on Tuesday, but Terry qualified for up to six. Another five remain uncommitted and will likely go to Obama.
In other words, if Terry doesn’t release his delegates to vote for Obama, he could keep the incumbent president from unanimous renomination. That doesn’t change the substance of the 2012 race, but it’s still a little poke to Obama’s pride. In general, Terry’s success also demonstrates that pro-life Democrats are alive and well and appreciate the option to vote for someone who shares a fundamental view.
As the conflict of visions in our country increasingly becomes a conflict between conservatives and progressives (a conflict that exists within both parties), the conservative movement should be able to reach increasing numbers of Democrats in the conservative heartland of the country.