President Obama will not win the Democratic nomination unanimously after a pro-life activist won 18 percent of the votes in Oklahoma’s primary on Tuesday, ensuring he’ll win delegates to the national nominating convention in September.
Mr. Obama won just 57 percent of the vote in Oklahoma, with Randall Terry, the founder of Operation Rescue, and three other candidates each winning significant chunks of votes to limit the incumbent.
Mr. Terry’s 18 percent was followed by Jim Rogers, an Oklahoman who was Democrats’ Senate nominee in 2010 and who won 14 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s primary — just shy of the 15 percent threshold needed to win delegates. Rounding out the states voting, Darcy G. Richardson won 6 percent and Robert Moulton-Ely, who goes by “Bob Ely,” won 5 percent.
Oklahoma is one of the most conservative states in the union and the state’s lone Democratic member of Congress has been critical of Mr. Obama, so it’s not surprising some Democratic voters would seek an alternative to Mr. Obama.
The Tulsa World reported that Mr. Terry had run “gruesome” television ads in the state, and vowed to try to use Oklahoma to become a bigger player in Democratic primaries going forward. He has raised $123,400 for his campaign through the end of January.
Mr. Ely reported having raised a little more than $13,000, and had debts of nearly $165,000. Ms. Richardson reported having raised $9,520 through the end of last year.
In most states Mr. Obama was the only name on the ballot, and protest votes have been rare, though not unheard of.
In Vermont, which also held its primary on Tuesday, 1.5 percent of voters chose to write in another candidate rather than select Mr. Obama.
According to TheGreenPapers.com, which tracks primary and caucus voting, Mr. Obama has won more than 83 percent of all votes cast in the Democratic primary process in 2012.
Among other vote-getters on the Democratic side this year, Republican front-runner Mitt Romney has won nearly 2,000 votes — which is more than five times the number of votes Mr. Obama has won in the GOP’s contests, despite a turnout more than 10 times higher on the Republican side.
Rep. Ron Paul has topped Mr. Romney, winning nearly 2,300 votes — good enough for sixth on the Democratic list.
Oddly enough, former Sen. Rick Santorum, who has done well among self-identified Democrats who are voting in the GOP’s primary, has not done so well among actual Democrats vote in their own party primaries. He’s the fourth-highest Republican candidate, with only about 300 votes — trailing Mr. Paul, Mr. Romney and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.