2018 Elections

Ryan LaCroix / KOSU

Long before the Tonight Show, late night TV icon Johnny Carson was hosted a game show entitled “Who Do You Trust?”

If this show was still on the air today, and the topic was “Oklahoma Government,” it would likely be difficult to stretch contestants’ answers into the half-hour program. That’s because, data show, Oklahomans’ answers would be “no one.”

Emily Wendler / StateImpact Oklahoma

On the night of the primary elections, Ainsley Hoover was at a small watch party at the Chili’s restaurant in Enid. She had helped her friend, a fellow teacher, campaign for House District 41,  and they were anxiously awaiting the results.

Hoover, who was also tracking the vote totals for House District 40 with hopes the incumbent in that seat would lose, says she didn’t use to be political. When Hoover did vote, it was usually in the presidential election.

Despite all the Democrats' special election wins, high voter turnout in primaries and polls showing strong party enthusiasm heading into the midterms, the fact remains that Democrats are still stuck at their lowest level of power in nearly a century.

Even though President Trump's poll numbers have stabilized, party leaders see 2018 as a chance to seize back one key lever of government: the House of Representatives. But Democrats and their core voters can't seem to agree on the best direction to take.

Claire Donnelly / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Kay Wallace holds up a denim Gucci jumpsuit as she sorts through a pile of clothes behind the counter of her shop in downtown Wewoka.

“Of course it’s not my size —it’s an extra large,” she said. “This is one of my favorites.”

Wallace’s store, My Second Closet, sells new and gently used high-end clothing and accessories. She has owned the business, which she says caters to everyone “from fashionistas to cowboys,” since 2012.

This Week in Oklahoma Politics, KOSU's Michael Cross talks with Republican Political Consultant Neva Hill and ACLU Oklahoma Executive Director Ryan Kiesel about the election in Oklahoma which made medical marijuana legal in the state and saw a runoff election without Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, but instead between former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Among the reddest states in the country, Oklahoma voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved State Question 788, a ballot initiative legalizing medical marijuana for licensed patients, as well as marijuana businesses and research.

In a stunning primary upset, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — a young socialist activist, woman of color and political newcomer — has unseated leading House Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in New York's deep-blue 14th Congressional District.

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Polls have closed in Oklahoma. We'll be updating this post as results come in.

Updated 12:28 a.m.

Former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett will face Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt in a runoff for the Republican nomination for governor.

Cornett, Stitt and Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb were all polling closely leading into Tuesday's primary election. There had to be an odd man out to reach to the runoff. The odd man out was Lamb.

Cornett finished with near 29 percent of the vote. With 1948 of 1951 precincts reporting, Stitt led Lamb 24.43 to 23.88 percent.

Jacob McCleland / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Roy Lenz tidies the bar at the Brandin’ Iron on a Saturday afternoon. His wife, Barbara, fires up the grill, filling the place with the smell of hamburger patties, grilled onions and bacon.

 

“This place was built back in the late 20s, early 30s, and it’s been a bar from the late 30s, early 40s,” Roy said.

 

It’s only bar in Laverne, a little town of 1,344 people in Harper County in far northwestern Oklahoma.

 

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