Facebook pundits: Oklahoma Watchdog readers weigh in
Published: November 9th, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY — Nationwide, voter turnout may have been down, but in social media, turnout is higher than ever.
The American election may be over, but in cyberspace, the debate continues.
Oklahoma went Republican from top to bottom, from Congress to the statehouse and often at the county courthouse.
In Facebook postings at Oklahoma Watchdog (and on CapitolBeatOK), our readers weighed in on the results, the aftermath, and the implications for public policy. From its peak on Tuesday night and much of Wednesday, then through this morning, our Facebook traffic remained passionate and often blunt.
One of the first comments after CapitolBeatOK posted news of the president’s success in the Electoral College came from Vicki Johnson, who said she was “sick to my stomach. … What is wrong with people??”
Tammy Bond bluntly decried the result, saying of Obama’s supporters: “They get handouts what else, they want what they didn’t earn and want to take it from people who work their asses off.” Pamela Griffin commented, “My heart hurts for my beautiful country.”
Michael Brown declared, “Maybe, just maybe, the Republican party who I agree with on many issues will now realize that they must get rid of the far right wind of the party. The Bible thumpers have cost the Republicans another election, and so it goes.”
Among the minority enthralled with the results was Jennifer McMinn Shokat, who cheered the outcome, saying, “Yes we can? YES WE DID. AGAIN. 4 MORE YEARS.” Tricia Lynn Gorden said, “All the bashing about president is completely not CHRISTIAN. But this happens every election, DIRTY politics, which GOD hates.”
With a bit of hyperbole, Jacob O’Brien said, “It has never made any sense to me that Oklahoma is 72% registered Democrat, but votes 95% Republican.” His point: In a state where 46.5 percent of the registered voters are Democrats to only 44 percent for Republicans, Gov. Romney dominated the presidential race.
David Brantley advised fellow voters, “Bend over!” Reflecting on the ubiquitous media presence of a certain pundit, John Bratt asked, “I guess Nate Silver was right, huh?” An alarmist view came from a reader who said, “This is the beginning of liberty, the states will secede as the dollar falls apart.”
In Oklahoma Watchdog’s unscientific poll Tuesday night, Romney got 78 percent, while incumbent Barack Obama got 20 percent. In the real world, Obama had 442,787 votes – 33.2 percent of the number cast – while Romney came in with 889,710, for 66.8 percent. Those election results are not certified, and could change, but reflect a turnout approximately 100,000 below the 2008 level.
That decline in voter turnout was a popular subject throughout Wednesday. Over a 24-hour period, 4,412 readers read our post of a national news story on the turnout decline, and had varied reactions.
Our reader Jennifer Chambliss opined, “Maybe it is because people are waking up to the fact that our votes really don’t matter in the ‘sham’ elections.” Reader Jimmy Goodloe wrote Thursday to say Ron Paul was the only person who could have beaten the president, and “any of you Republicrats thinking otherwise are only fooling yourself.”
Douglas Henry said thousands of troops serving overseas did not get ballots – and pointed to his similar experience serving in the military in both 2006 and 2008. Shokat returned with a Friday post, saying, “With fewer people voting, there should be a lot less complaining going on. You don’t vote, you can’t complain.”
Closer to home, Wednesday and Thursday brought discussion of the latest Republican gains in the Legislature – with a 36-12 GOP advantage in the state Senate, and a 72-29 edge in the state House. Many were disappointed with Republican legislative output the past two years, so we asked readers if the majority at the state Capitol can improve its performance in the future.
Phil C. Pace said they had better, “If they want to keep that margin at the next election.” Doris Akana said she wanted solons to work together “and quit acting like spoiled ass brats!”
Donna Villines was pessimistic, writing, “They could [do better], but they won’t.” In the CapitolBeatOK stream, Michael McCarty said, “I would certainly hope so … Too many RINOs [Republicans in Name Only].”
More hopeful was Shay Hervey, who said, “We are way better off than many states. Oklahomans just have to decide if they are going to be bible believing as we were for many years or join the rest of the secular world. It’s just that simple.”
From the left, Obama supporter Richard Cheek said the Republican Legislature can do better, “only if they realize that a solid education system is the key to every kind of growth.”