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Campaigns Looking For More Votes

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Tulsa Democrats spoon up bowls full of chili Thursday night while watching to see who will walk away a winner in Iowa. Tulsa Democrats spoon up bowls full of chili Thursday night while watching to see who will walk away a winner in Iowa.
Some candidates, like Republican Mitt Romney, have been frequent visitors to Oklahoma. Some candidates, like Republican Mitt Romney, have been frequent visitors to Oklahoma.
Elaine Dodd with the Tulsa County Democrats says her party's candidates have been quite active considering the state only has 7 electoral votes. Elaine Dodd with the Tulsa County Democrats says her party's candidates have been quite active considering the state only has 7 electoral votes.

Oklahomans will cast their primary votes in about a month. No doubt, there will be fewer candidates to choose from compared to the decision faced by voters in Iowa. Super Tuesday will be awfully crowded. The News On 6's Ashli Sims reports Oklahoma will share Super Tuesday with 21 other states this year. By February 5th, six other states will have already cast their ballots. But, that hasn't stopped many major candidates from stumping in Oklahoma.

Tulsa Democrats spoon up bowls full of chili Thursday night while watching to see who will walk away a winner in Iowa.

"We're pretty excited tonight even if it isn't Super Tuesday, yet," said Tulsa County Democrat Elaine Dodd.

Oklahomans will cast their ballots February 5th, but they've already seen several leading candidates including Barack Obama. He attended a George Kaiser fundraiser in Tulsa, shortly after he announced his bid for the presidency.

A few months later, John McCain was in town raising money with a $500 per plate fundraiser. He was followed by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, who stopped in Tulsa in May. Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani are neck and neck for most visits to the state.

The rest of the Republican field didn't make it to the state in 2007. But, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee has named former state senator Scott Pruitt as his local campaign chair. And, Ron Paul has enjoyed a swell of grassroots support in Green Country.

Tulsa County's Republican chairwoman says the wide field and a close race in Iowa could mean more influence for Oklahoma.

"There's a chance that Oklahoma can really play a big part in who the actual candidate that we have going into the general election may be," said Tulsa County Republican Joy Mohorovicic.

On the Democrat's side, New York senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton attended a fundraiser at the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame, last fall. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, a frequent visitor in 2004, has only been to Oklahoma once, although his wife also made an appearance. Bill Richardson attended a fundraiser in Oklahoma City last March.

But, the rest of the Democratic field has been largely absent. Dodd says that's actually a lot of attention for a state with only seven Electoral College votes.

"Unfortunately, it's one that Republicans depend on getting that seven and Democrats go for states that have larger numbers of electoral college votes," said Tulsa County Democrat Elaine Dodd.

None of the candidates have official campaign offices here. But, they are supposed to announce state campaign representatives on Friday.

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