-- Oklahoma holds its Democratic and Republican primaries on March 1, 2016. 42 delegates are at stake for the Democrats and 43 delegates for the Republicans. The Sooner State has been a solid Republican state since the 1950s. This year’s presidential primary will be the first time registered independents may vote in a Democratic Party primary. The Oklahoma Republican Party does not allow independents to vote in its primaries.
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Why The State Is Significant:
• Oklahoma's electorate appears to be particularly energized this election, with a massive jump in new voter registration -- more than 30,000 since January 15, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board. Also telling is that more than 43,000 early ballots were cast of 11 a.m. the Saturday before Super Tuesday -- and that amount was already double the total amount in the 2012 election.
• The Trump effect? Republicans have enjoyed a significant spike this election, fueled by party affiliation switches. According to the board, nearly 1,000 independent voters joined the Republicans, while 2,800 Democrats did the same.
• The Oklahoma Democratic Party decided in November to open its primary to the state's then-267,000 independent voters. It was the first time one of the state's major parties opened its primary. The state's Republicans have said they have no interest in following suit.
• Democrats have steadily declined in the state since 1960, according to the Oklahoma State Election Board. More than 50 years ago, 82 percent of registered voters were Democrats. Now, only 42 percent of registered voters are Democrats.