Updates with Klobuchar ending her bid Monday morning.
MIAMI – Oklahoma gets its time in the political spotlight when the Sooner State joins 10 others around the country for its Super Tuesday Presidential Preferential Primary.
Polls will be open Tuesday, March 3 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in Ottawa County as well as across the state.
Early voting began Thursday at the Ottawa County Courthouse Annex Community Room.
Voting Friday is from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
There will be 14 Democrats and six Republicans on the ballots for Ottawa County voters.
Northeastern A&M political science instructor Dr. Jeff Birdsong said while some talk about a fractured Democratic party, it is not as bad as it was with the Republicans in 2016.
“If you'll recall, only one former Republican presidential candidate, Bob Dole, even attended the 2016 convention,” Birdsong said. “Increasingly, party leadership may not have much impact in the direction of their parties. More than likely, Bernie Sanders will be the Democratic nominee for president, and he wasn't even a Democrat six years ago. Perhaps the key importance of parties still today is that it gives an indication of voter enthusiasm.
“In many key states in 2016, the enthusiasm gap worked in favor for Republicans and Republican leaning independents. The enthusiasm gap will be the key for the 2020 election as well.”
Democratic candidates include (listed in order of how they will appear on the ballot) include Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Deval Patrick, Marianne Williamson, Joseph R. Biden, Tom Steyer, Amy Klobuchar, Michael Bennet, Bernie Sanders, Julian Castro, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard and Michael R. Bloomberg.
The Republican ballot includes Roque Rocky De La Fuente, Bob Ely, Donald J. Trump, Matthew John Mattern, Joe Walsh and Zoltan G. Istvan.
There are no Libertarian candidates.
Patrick, Yang, Bennet, Walsh, Booker, Williamson and Castro earlier had dropped out. Steiner dropped out Saturday night and Buttigieg announced Sunday that he was out. Both cited poor showings in South Carolina.
Then Monday morning, Klobuchar announced she was dropping out.
Bloomberg made a campaign stop in Oklahoma Thursday (the location had not been announced as of press time) and Buttigieg is scheduled to make a stop on March 2.
Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar have also made stops in the state as did Beto O’Rourke before abandoning his campaign.
Birdsong said experience is not a requirement in a presidential race any more.
Biden — who sought the office in 2008 — is the only candidate among the Democrats with national success on a presidential ticket.
He served two terms as vice president under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017.
“However, does experience matter? For the first time in U.S. history we currently have a president that never held elected office, never was a general or admiral, and never served in a presidential cabinet,” Birdsong said. “The old traditional measurements of success no longer seem to apply. Thus, the key seems to be which group of voters is most inspired to defeat the other guy.”
A total of 1,357 delegates will be up for grabs nationally on Super Tuesday.
“I think it’s going to be extremely steady all day long,” Ottawa County Election Board (OCEB) Secretary Verna Farris said.
There were 16,955 registered voters in Ottawa County as of Feb. 3, according to Farris.
There are 6,989 are registered as Democrat and 6,747 as Republican.
She said there are a little over 3,000 registered Independents and 71 Libertarians in the county.
In addition to Oklahoma, other Super Tuesday states include Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas (making up the so-called SEC Primary since voters in those states are part of the Southeastern Conference) as well as California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Utah, Vermont and Virginia.
According to “U.S. News & World Report, “the states casting ballots on Super Tuesday together comprise 40% of the U.S. population. Democrats Abroad and American Samoans (the latter of whom do not get to vote in the general election) also vote. And Republican primary voters cast ballots in all states but Virginia, where the state Republican Party canceled its primary election to throw delegate support behind the incumbent, President Donald Trump.”
The precursor to Super Tuesday dates back to 1984, but began to take on its current form four years later, when Oklahoma was one of the “charter” states.
There are 17 precincts in Ottawa County:
Precinct 2: First Christian Church, 2424 North Main, Miami
Precinct 3: Miami Senior Citizen Center, 2104 Denver Harnar Drive, Miami
Precinct 4: Miami Friends Church, 209 I NE, Miami
Precinct 5: Nine Tribes Tower, 205 B NE, Miami
Precinct 7: Southern Hills Baptist Church, 1925 E SW, Miami
Precinct 8: Miami First Baptist Church, 1st and A SW, Miami
Precinct 9: All Saints Episcopal Church, 225 B NW, Miami
Precinct 11: Civic Center, 129 5th NW, Miami
Precinct 12: Cutting Edge Ministries, 342 Goodrich Blvd., Miami
Precinct 14: Commerce First Baptist Church, 109 North Cherry Street, Commerce
Precinct 23: Quapaw City Hall, 410 South Main, Quapaw
Precinct 25: Eastside Baptist Church, 10051 South 652 Road, Miami
Precinct 26: Wyandotte Community Center, 212 South Main Street, Wyandotte
Precinct 28: Fairland Assembly of God Church, 350 South Main, Fairland
Precinct 31: Ottawa Tribal Building, 11400 South 613 Road, Miami
Precinct 34: Afton Community Center, 201 Southwest First, Afton
Voters can go to https://www.ok.gov/elections/ to confirm their voter registration, find polling places, view sample ballots and track an absentee ballot or call the election board at 918-542-2893 or like it on Facebook at Ottawa County Election Board.