Thursday, November 15, 2012

Romney's Zero-Vote Precincts in Oklahoma: There are Actually Three!

If you've been poking around the right-wing media looking for some of their excuses for why Republicans lost the election (or if, like me, it was brought to your attention by reading this Dave Weigel article), you would have stumbled across this fact nugget: 59 precincts in Philadelphia and 16 precincts in Cleveland tallied zero votes for Mitt Romney.  Zero!  How is it possible that not a single Romney voter lived in any of those 75 precincts?  You could come to one of two conclusions: that the votes recorded are an accurate count of the will of the electorate reflecting the popularity of the current president and/or the deep unpopularity of Mitt Romney specifically and Republican policies generally; or, FRAUD!!!!!11!!

It's not hard to see that these are likely legitimate totals.  Black people make up somewhere close to 100% of the population in these precincts, and 96% of black people went for Obama in Ohio.  There isn't a comparable monolithic voting group on the right, so one wouldn't expect to find as many precincts recording zero votes for Obama as there are precincts that record zero votes for Romney.  Even the reddest county in Oklahoma (Cimarron County, way up in the panhandle) recorded some votes for Obama (9.4%).  So this got me thinking, did Oklahoma have any zero vote precincts for either candidate?  Yes!

Using data from the Oklahoma State Election Board, I made a spreadsheet and some charts.  This was the distribution of precincts in Oklahoma that voted for Obama.  The largest block of precincts (725) gave Obama between 20% and 30% of the vote. 

This is Romney's distribution.  As you'd expect from a state that allows no write-in candidates and no third-party ballot access, it is basically a mirror image of the Obama chart.

But as you can see, four non-empty precincts recorded no Obama votes, and three recorded no Romney votes. Where are these precincts?

Here are the precincts with 100% Romney support (maps adapted from OU's Center for Spatial Analysis).

Kay County, precinct 407 - Romney 34, Obama 0 - wedged between Newkirk and Ponca City on Hwy. 77.

Wagoner County, precinct 105 - Romney 6, Obama 0 - A couple of farmhouses northeast of Broken Arrow

Woodward County, precinct 104 - Romney 6, Obama 0 - Northwest Oklahoma, rural precinct not near anything

Woodward County, precinct 303 - Romney 2, Obama 0 - Northwest Oklahoma, rural precinct not near anything

For those four precincts, it's Romney 48, Obama 0.

Oklahoma County, precinct 237 (near the boathouses) - Obama 4, Romney 0 - There's maybe one house left in this precinct since the new crosstown expressway, the boathouses, Lincoln Blvd.'s realignment and the Boulevard's construction has taken every other property.

Oklahoma County, precinct 188 (the state fairgrounds) - Obama 3, Romney 0 - I guess the three homeless people living on the fairgrounds all like Obama.

Cleveland County, precinct 90 (Moore, north of NE 27th, between I-35 and Eastern) - Obama 1, Romney 0 -  It could have gone either way.

For those three precincts, it's Obama 8, Romney 0.

But this all doesn't tell us much.  Besides that Kay County precinct, these are all fringey precincts with very few people that all have a pretty good chance of voting unanimously just by random chance. What about precincts where the candidates get 95% of the vote or more?

Beaver County, Precinct 13 (way up in the panhandle northeast of the town of Beaver, north of Slapout) - Romney 119 (95.2%), Obama 6 (4.8%) - Over 250 square miles, and only 6 people voted for Obama.

Harper County, precinct 303 (the next county over from Beaver County, east of Buffalo) - An even bigger precinct, even fewer Obama voters. Romney 107 (98.2%), Obama 2 (1.8%)

Kingfisher County, Precinct 303 (between Kingfisher and Okarche, northwest of Oklahoma City) - Romney 110 (95.7%), Obama 5 (4.3%)

Kingfisher County, Precinct 106 (between Kingfisher and Crescent, but near nothing at all) - Romney 79 (95.2%), Obama 4 (4.8%)

Logan County, Precinct 301 (next to Kingfisher precinct 106) - Romney 167 (96.0%), Obama 7 (4.0%)

That's it for Romney's 95% precincts.  They're all rural precincts in the northwestern part of the state that happen to be just a couple of percentage points redder than their surroundings.

Obama has more 95% precincts than Romney, and they are all more populated and all in Oklahoma City or Tulsa (with one exception).

Oklahoma County:
Precinct 115 - Obama 987 (96.7%), Romney 34 (3.3%)
Precinct 240 - Obama 829 (97.0%), Romney 26 (3.0%)
Precinct 242 - Obama 542 (98.0%), Romney 11 (2.0%)
Precinct 243 - Obama 864 (97.8%), Romney 19 (2.2%)
Precinct 244 - Obama 807 (98.4%), Romney 13 (1.6%)
Precinct 245 - Obama 895 (99.6%), Romney 4 (0.4%)

These are all the precincts around M.L. King south of Remington Park and north of I-40 in Oklahoma City, the traditionally black neighborhoods.  Out of the 5000 voters in this section of the city, only 100 of them voted for Mitt Romney.  But see precinct 30 and 31 down there in Del City? 1198 Mitt Romney voters live there. I'm just amazed at the sharp contrast in the Obama electorate from its surroundings.

Here's an awesome map from Eric Fischer showing 2010 census race and ethnicity data for Oklahoma City.  Each dot represents 25 people, red dots are white people, blue dots are black people, orange dots are Hispanic, and teal dots are Asian.  Not surprisingly, those blue areas are where Obama's 95% precincts are.


Tulsa County:
Precinct 1 - Obama 877 (96.9%), Romney 28 (3.1%)
Precinct 4 - Obama 910 (95.1%), Romney 47 (4.9%)
Precinct 6 - Obama 956 (97.0%), Romney 30 (3.0%)
Precinct 10 - Obama 565 (95.3%), Romney 28 (4.7%)
Precinct 13 - Obama 913 (97.0%), Romney 28 (3.0%)

 Basically this is all of the Greenwood neighborhood in Tulsa and everything north of it.  Here's Tulsa's dot map.

Logan County, Precinct 310 (Langston University) - Obama 606 (99.5%), Romney 3 (0.5%) - Langston University is Oklahoma's only historically black university.


David said...

Great post here is an semi-interactive voting heat map of OK county by precinct that a friend help me with, I added the shading and colors.

David said...

I added a Oklahoma by counties breakdown

Anonymous said...

Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Oklahoma is one of the most segregated states in the country.

Just a thought...