It's a big day in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination — Super Tuesday.
Oklahoma and 13 other states will award about one-third of the party’s delegates. Tulsa County Democratic Party Chair Amanda Swope said that makes it important to vote in the primary, something independents can do in the Democratic contest but not the Republican one.
"That’s something that we do to show how open and inclusive we are as a party, and that’s something that they — despite the fact that they have an option — regularly choose not to allow independents to vote in their primary," Swope said.
Swope said with more options than usual on the Democratic ballot, it’s more important than ever for voters to do their research, even if that’s figuring out who’s still running for president.
"We’ve had a couple of candidates even within the past 24 hours drop out, so they’re no longer in the race but their name will still be on the ticket," Swope said.
Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg dropped out of the race Sunday, and Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar bowed out Monday afternoon. Candidates had to withdraw from Oklahoma’s presidential primary by Dec. 6 to be taken off the ballot.
The candidates still running for president are former Vice President Joe Biden, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Hawaii U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
Sanders hopes Super Tuesday in Oklahoma will be a repeat of his performance four years ago, while the rest of the Democratic field hope to get a foothold in the Sooner State.
Sanders won Oklahoma’s Democratic primary in 2016 and in September held a rally in Norman and visited a Comanche Nation powwow outside of Lawton. His wife, Jane Sanders, visited Tulsa and Tahlequah last week hoping to rally his base just days ahead of the primary. Actor Danny Glover made one last push for Sanders in Tulsa on Monday afternoon
Bloomberg spent heavily on advertising and nearly two dozen field staffers in Oklahoma and made multiple campaign stops in Oklahoma, including a January visit to Tulsa’s historic Greenwood District, where he outlined an racial economic equality proposal aimed at increasing the number of black-owned homes and businesses.
Meanwhile, Biden looked to turn his decisive win Saturday in South Carolina into momentum for his campaign.
Bloomberg and Biden both are targeting the Democratic Party’s moderate lane, especially after Buttigieg and Klobuchar suspended their campaigns. Buttigieg, who ended his campaign on Sunday, and Klobuchar, who dropped out Monday, both had previously planned campaign stops in Oklahoma on Monday.
Warren, who grew up in Oklahoma City and held a December rally here, hoped her roots in the state would help propel her to success in Oklahoma.
Polls are open statewide on Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.