Patrick B. McGuigan, editor
OKLAHOMA CITY – Today (Sunday, February 21), former President Bill Clinton will come to Oklahoma, rallying support for his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination.
Oklahomans in both political parties will vote on March 1, a day when the process to choose the next president of the United States accelerates with primary elections across the South.
Mr. Clinton will address a “get out the vote” (GOTV) rally scheduled for Northeast Academy, 3100 N. Kelley, at 8 p.m. Doors will open at 7 p.m.
While in the city, he will attend a private fundraiser hosted by Cliff and Leslie Hudson. Cliff is chief executive officer of the Sonic Corporation, with headquarters located in Bricktown.
According to the most recent opinion poll in the Sooner State, Mrs. Clinton holds a narrow lead over Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders. She had 46 percent support among Oklahoma Democrats, to 44 percent for Sanders in the survey conducted by Public Policy Polling, a national firm.
The opinion poll focused on states holding primaries next week, and found Clinton ahead in 10 out of 12 states, including Oklahoma.
Silas Allen, a reporter for the Oklahoman, summarized other findings in the survey from mid-February:
“A majority of Oklahoma Democrats told pollsters they thought Clinton was better prepared than Sanders to be commander in chief and deal with foreign policy issues. Clinton also polled well on issues like immigration, race relations and women’s issues: 61 percent said they trusted Clinton more to handle women’s issues, 39 percent said they trusted her most on immigration and 44 percent said they thought she was best equipped to improve race relations.
“But Sanders fared better in income-inequality issues, which have been the cornerstone of his campaign: 46 percent of Oklahoma voters surveyed told pollsters they trusted Sanders most to crack down on Wall Street, to Clinton’s 33 percent. Another 45 percent said they trusted Sanders more to pursue policies that raise the incomes of average Americans, with Clinton polling at 38 percent in the same category.”
Last fall, Tulsa Today, an online news source, reported the 2016 Clinton campaign had formed an influential group of Oklahoma Democratic party leaders supporting the former first Lady, including state Senate Minority Leader John Sparks of Norman, Sen. Kay Floyd of Oklahoma City and Reps. Jason Dunnington and George Young of Oklahoma City, and Reps. Emily Virgin of Norman, James Lockhart of Heavener, and Jeannie McDaniel of Tulsa.
Former state Rep. Laura Boyd of Norman is also a Clinton booster.
Former Gov. David Walters and his wife, Rhonda, are Clinton supporters, as are former Gov. Brad Henry and his wife, Dr. Jan Henry, and former Gov. George Nigh and his wife, Donna, and former Corporation Commissioner Jim Roth.
Other former elected state officers backing Clinton former Attorney Generals Mike Turpen, Robert Henry and Drew Edmondson. Other prominent supporters include former U.S. Attorney Dan Webber, as well as Lisa Pryor, Susan Savage and Kathy Taylor. The latter three have each held statewide appointed positions in the past. Savage and Taylor are both former mayors of Tulsa, the state’s second largest city.
Democratic activists on the Clinton campaign bandwagon include Joe Hartman, Evelyn Adams, Aaron Wilder, Shirley Neal, Jo Glenn, Amanda Snipes, Troy Stevenson, Dana Orwig, Bob Burke, Nina Ritchie, Henry A. “Hank” Meyer, Cassi Peters, Stuart Price, Susan Turpen, Kalyn Free, Hank Bennet, Debbie Hogue-Downing, and Linda Edmondson.
At Tulsa fundraising event attended by former Secretary of State Clinton last year, she raised several hundred thousand dollars with the help of her Oklahoma Leadership Council.
In 2008, Hillary Clinton won the state Democratic primary with 228,480 votes, or 54.76 percent, to 130,130 votes, or 31.19 percent, for then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois.
In the November general election, Republican John McCain easily won the state, with 65.65 percent of the vote.
Although he never carried Oklahoma in his presidential campaigns, Bill Clinton has often visited the state, including four events remembering those who died in the 1995 bombing of the A.P. Murrah Federal Building.
Clinton and former Gov. Walters are long-time allies in regional and national politics.