Oklahoma 4th District
In the years after 1900, the brown hills west of Oklahoma City and north of the Red River suddenly filled up with farmers riding north from Texas, past the quenched green lands of the east toward the bare pasture lands of the west. The first settlers here arrived just as the buffalo were dying out, from an estimated 60 million animals to no more than 1,000. So in 1901, Republican President William McKinley established the nation’s first wildlife preserve in the Wichita Mountains, 25 miles northwest of Lawton. Fifteen bison were donated by the New York Zoological Society and arrived at the preserve via rail in 1907—a major factor in the survival of the species. Today this habitat supports grazing for Rocky Mountain elk, white-tailed deer and Texas longhorn cattle. Government has played a role in the survival of the people, too. Population in southwest Oklahoma clusters around major government institutions: the state capital in Oklahoma City; the University of Oklahoma in Norman, which was the world’s first school of petroleum geology; Tinker Air Force Base in southern Oklahoma City; the Army Field Artillery School at Fort Sill in Lawton. Sill also is the new home of the Army Air Defense Artillery School, which was relocated from Fort Bliss, Texas.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 4th Congressional District of Oklahoma begins a few miles from the capitol in Oklahoma City, smack dab in the middle of the state, and proceeds south and west to cover half of Oklahoma’s Red River Valley. Demographically, this district is becoming more suburban, but the cultural tone remains countrified. That is true even in the Oklahoma City suburbs, where in new subdivisions people still prefer chicken-fried steak to stir-fried chicken and watermelons from Rush Springs. Ancestrally, this is Democratic country, but Norman, Lawton and the Oklahoma City fringe have voted solidly Republican since the 1990s.