An Owasso barbershop and Oklahoma politics

Friday, September 17th 2004, 10:13 am
By: News On 6

Chances are you or someone you know has been contacted by polling companies during this election season. But forget about PEW, Gallup and all the other services. If you want to know how Oklahomans are going to vote, you don't need to go any further than a small business in Owasso.

News on 6 anchor Craig Day says at Dean's Barbershop there's always plenty of good conversation, fishing, the weather. Jean Brown at Dean's Barber Shop: "It gets good discussion started and there's a few people we don't talk politics with, but most of them we do."

And they don't just talk politics. Jean Brown "It's exciting. Yea it really is. It's exciting." They also give customers the chance to vote, along with their haircuts. On little slips of paper, customers can vote for president. The ballots are then put in a mayonnaise jar to be counted later.

Dean Brown: "Well we've had votes for Mickey Mouse, and Donald Duck and votes for Jean and votes for me." Customer Brian Debore: "It gets a lot of attention around here. People talk about it and it's always kind of neat to vote and see how it turns out." It turns out; the mayonnaise jar balloting is pretty accurate.

In five previous presidential elections, the barbershop poll has picked the candidates supported by Oklahomans, within about five percentage points, which are just as good as most scientific polls.

A lot of folks are interested in the results. Dean and Jean will empty the jar and count the ballots the night before the election.

Customers at the barbershop can also vote for Oklahoma's US Senate race and the state gambling questions.