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banner Friday, 7 January, 2000, 17:49 GMT
Oklahoma

Key facts
Population: 3,300,902 (ranked 28 among states)
Governor: Frank Keating (R)
Electoral College votes: 8
Oklahoma has voted decisively Republican in all but one presidential election for 50 years. The exception was in 1964 when the state rejected Barry Goldwater in favour of Democrat Lyndon Johnson.

In 1996 Republicans won the whole House delegation and should have no trouble getting the presidential vote.

1998 Congress
House of Representatives: 6 Republicans
Senate: 2 Republicans
Despite its location at the heart of America, Oklahoma has not always had the smooth development enjoyed by many of its neighbours. The state has relied heavily on single industries throughout its history and, as a result, has experienced dramatic booms but also devastating busts.

Voting record
1996: Dole 48%, Clinton 40%, Perot 11%
1993: Bush 43%, Clinton 34%, Perot 23%
1992: Bush 58%, Dukakis 41%
The beginning of the 20th century oil brought huge wealth to Oklahoma, but by 1930 the state was a dust bowl, driving people to the economic safety of California.

The state thrived again in the 1970s when the oil crisis put a premium on Oklahoma's oil and the population rose as fast as prices.

But by the 1980s, the industry was again in decline and oil production today is at its lowest point for 80 years. An increasingly diverse economy has softened the effects of the oil slump on the local economy but the state still has low incomes and high crime rates.

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Links to more States stories are at the foot of the page.


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