EDITORIAL: Sooners need to be informed about the Oklahoma primary
Our View: This year, the Oklahoma primary could have a national impact. Every Sooner should participate.
Newt Gingrich spoke Monday in Oklahoma City, bringing the still-raging Republican primary race to Oklahoma like Santorum did Feb. 9.
This isn’t the first year nominees have made the effort to come to the Sooner state, but it brings to mind the big difference about this year’s race: With no clear front-runner, the Oklahoma primary will have a national impact.
Because Oklahoma’s primary falls so late in the process, it usually is obvious whom the opposition candidate will be long before Sooners get to vote.
- Rick Santorum 25%
- Mitt Romney 0%
- Newt Gingrich 0%
- Ron Paul 75%
12 total votes.
This makes Oklahoma a less significant target for the nominees’ campaigns and often results in a lack-luster voter turnout.
The 2008 primary saw only 29.1 percent of registered voters casting a vote, according to the U.S. Elections Project.
But this year, the race is close, and no one can say for certain whom the Republican Party will eventually rally behind.
Rick Santorum recently pulled ahead of Mitt Romney in the polls; Gingrich still is making a strong showing in many states and Ron Paul has given no sign of surrender yet.
For the first time in a long time, Oklahoma’s primary results could influence the overall race.
This is a perfect opportunity for every Oklahoman to get involved.
If you’re registered to vote in Oklahoma — and you’re a registered Republican — then get informed, get out and vote on March 6.
Those of you registered in other states should also be sure to watch for the dates of your state’s primaries and cast your absentee ballots.
Because Oklahoma is a closed primary, those of you registered in the state as a Democrat or an independent can’t vote in the Republican primary.
But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the race.
You can help any registered Republicans you know choose the best potential president by staying informed on the candidate’s views and sharing that information with others.
Regardless of your party affiliation, your goal should be to help your fellow voters choose a strong Republican candidate so America has the best choices in the general election.
A choice between two strong, valid candidates will ensure the best outcome for the country in November. In order to do that, you have to do your research.
Watch tonight’s debate at 7 p.m. When nominees come to Oklahoma, make time to go hear them speak firsthand.
If you can’t hear it directly from them, at least be sure to visit their websites and read coverage of past debates to find out where they stand on the essential issues.
Then, once you’ve heard their side of the story, make sure to fact-check their claims.
Websites like PolitiFact.com are great resources for evaluating the truth of a candidates’ claims.
You can get some of this kind of fact-checking from political analysts, but don’t forget to verify their claims for yourself.
You should be sure to get the opinions of the other side, as well. Not only will that help you further avoid spin and misinformation, but it also will help you broaden and strengthen your own views.
So whether you’re a native Oklahoman or from out of state, whether you’re a donkey or an elephant, this is the year to get energized and get involved.
And that means giving more than just your vote — it means giving an informed vote.