The blog ended at 9:30pm on November 10 and is no longer open.

If you plan to follow election returns tonight on your mobile device, please look for our blog on Twitter. Search for "Election_Live".

What we will be doing...

The blog will offer early analysis of returns from selected precincts.

Published election returns on radio and television give an aggregate of returns from precincts that have physically delivered their results to the Tulsa County Election Board in downtown Tulsa. These early returns do not typically reflect city-wide voting patterns. Our analysis, however, will be focused on carefully selected precincts for which we have voting histories and demographic data, thus allowing us to report early trends in different areas of the city and to possibly project an early winner in the races for Mayor and for City Auditor (the only two city-wide posts on the ballot).

What to watch for on election night...

Most observers are predicting a close race between the two principal candidates for mayor, although the final poll published by the Tulsa World indicated a clear advantage for Dewey Bartlett. If the race is going to be close, as prognosticators say, we should know this after reviewing the first few of our barometer precincts. If it is an easy win for Dewey Bartlett, as the World polls says, we will know that very early.

We should start to receive reports from these precincts before 7:30pm since we will get our results from the tallies posted at the polling place by precinct election officials (long before the results are received at the Election Board).

Tulsa is considered a strongly Republican town. Republicans hold a registration advantage over Democrats in Tulsa, and no Democratic presidential candidate has carried Tulsa since 1936. Nevertheless, Democrats have held the office of mayor in Tulsa for all but four of the last twenty years. In fact, it was not until 1968 that a Republican mayor was ever re-elected to a second term.

According to talk among local political observers, Democrat Tom Adelson is expected to cut into the traditional Republican advantage in mid-town and to run well in the northern and western parts of Tulsa. The key for Dewey Bartlett is the size of his margins in southern Tulsa and how well he runs in eastern Tulsa. An important additional factor for each of the candidates is the relative voter turnout in different parts of the city. (Our election evening analysis will look carefully at turnout patterns in our key precincts to see which of the candidates has done best in getting his supporters to the polls.)

A wildcard in the election is voter reaction to what has been widely considered to be a more negative campaign than usual for Tulsa city elections. The independent candidate, Mark Perkins, could benefit from a backlash by voters angry over the campaign ads of the major party candidates.

In most elections the first returns to be reflected in the published vote totals on radio and television are from the precincts nearest to the Election Board. These precincts tend to vote Democratic, so early returns from the Election Board are usually skewed in favor of the Democratic candidates. Many of the most heavily Republican precincts, on the other hand, are in southern Tulsa. These boxes will arrive at the Election Board somewhat later because of the time required to make the drive to downtown. In a very close election in Tulsa, the Republican may pull ahead only late in the vote counting as the precincts from the most distant of these heavily Republican precincts finally arrive at the Election Board.

In addition to the race for mayor, important city council elections are being held on Tuesday. The chief contests appear to between Eric Gomez and Maria Barnes in District 4, Dennis Troyer and Jim Mautino in District 6, and between David Patrick and Roscoe Turner in District 3. In heavily Republican District 9, incumbent G.T. Bynum is not thought to be facing serious opposition.The best scenario for the Republicans in the city council races appears to be a gain of one seat, and the best for the Democrats is a gain of two seats. Partisan politics, however, has not played a significant role in the City Council's work, so party gains or loses are not considered as important as the personalities, philosophies, and personal alliances of the members of the City Council.

A final note: In four of the last five mayoral elections in Tulsa, one of the major party candidates was a woman. This year both candidates are male. Of the nine current members of the City Council, all are male.

How our "live blog" system will work...

The live blog you see on this page receives a live feed from Twitter. Blog posts are made by sending updates from my cell phone to Twitter, thus allowing instantaneous automatic updating to this site from whatever location we may be in Tulsa during our election night reporting. If you have a Twitter account, you may post a response to any of the blog postings by simply clicking on that entry on this page (Twitter will then open in a new window for you to write your comment, and your comment will appear on this page).


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