Lisa Pryor, chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party, sees hope in the fact that Democratic presidential candidates have raised so much money in Oklahoma so far.
“I think Democrats are on the move,” she said in a recent interview. “I think they’re very excited and energized about the opportunity to put a Democrat in the White House.”
Pryor’s comments came after the latest fundraising reports from the presidential candidates showed that Democratic Sen. Barack Obama and former Democratic Sen. John Edwards each have raised more money in Oklahoma for their presidential campaigns than all of the Republican presidential candidates combined.
Obama took in $309,111 after fundraisers in Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Edwards, who has visited the state several times, has raised $219,247.
The top Republican fundraiser in the state so far is former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who has collected $138,650 from Oklahomans for his presidential run.
Pryor said several Republicans bought tickets to see Obama in Oklahoma and vowed that they were ready to vote for a Democrat. The state hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964.
Gary Jones, chairman of the Oklahoma Republican Party, said Republican donors in the state are still sorting through the candidates and are “still waiting to see the complete field.”
But he said the fundraising totals don’t mean Democrats are poised to break their losing streak in presidential contests in Oklahoma.
“Any one of our top three (candidates) would beat any one of their top three in Oklahoma,” he said.