Percentage of Oklahomans in favor of a smaller government on the rise

By Wesley Burt, Sooner Poll

Published: 09-Dec-2010

Results of a recent SoonerPoll found that 70.7 percent of Oklahomans prefer a smaller government with fewer services to a larger government with more services.

The results show a dramatic increase of those who prefer smaller government since the last time SoonerPoll polled the question earlier this year. In March 2010, only 60.5 percent of respondents said they would like to see a smaller government compared to the 70.7 percent now.

“What is important here is the movement of more and more Oklahomans preferring a smaller government,” said Bill Shapard, CEO of  “These results would seem to indicate that more and more Oklahomans believe that a larger government is not the answer to solving our problems.”

The most recent results show Oklahoma is trending more conservative, towards smaller government, than the rest of the country.

 A national poll conducted by Washington Post-ABC News asked the same exact question as SoonerPoll, “Generally speaking, would you say you favor (smaller government with fewer services), or (larger government with more services)?” The results showed only 58 percent of the nation for a smaller government with fewer services, however that percentage may have changed since the poll was conducted in January.

In fact, a more recent Rasmussen poll found that 65 percent of nationwide respondents say they prefer a government with fewer services and lower taxes.  It is important to note that while the Rasmussen poll indicates a shift since the Washington Post-ABC News poll, the results are only an indicator since the data cannot be directly compared because the question wording was not the same.

In the SoonerPoll survey, the concept of smaller government with fewer services was supported by 85.6 percent of Republicans and 59.3 percent of Independents polled.

Since the last survey the percentage of Democrats who agreed with the generally conservative belief in smaller government has increased 10.3 points, from 49.2 percent in March to 59.5 percent today.

“Gov-Elect Fallin, like Republicans in general, seemed to be listening to this growing majority of Oklahomans when she made ‘righting government’ a large part of her agenda during the campaign,” Shapard said. “Oklahomans regardless of party seem to agree with this approach.  The real question is, are the state’s Democratic leaders listening as well?” was commissioned for this poll by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs. conducted the scientific study using live interviewers by telephone of 518 likely voters from Nov. 5 – 11. The study has a margin of error of ± 4.3 percent.