|Updated: 2/10/2012 1:38 pm
||Published: 2/07/2012 11:16 am
The Republican presidential nomination is still up for grabs and a win in Oklahoma, one of the reddest states in the nation, could be a big prize that pushes one nominee to the top on Super Tuesday.
At Thursday’s rally for candidate Rick Santorum on the Oral Roberts University Campus, FOX23 found plenty of Tulsans happy to have a role in the nomination process.
Rick Santorum is already courting the votes of Oklahoma Republicans.
“Oklahoma is very, very important to me, it's a Super Tuesday state, and we think we do very well as the leading conservative in this race,” the former Pennsylvania Senator said.
While Santorum calls himself the leader, many see former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as the front runner for the Republican presidential nomination.
“I think people want an alternative or someone to put Romney up against. We want the best possible candidate to go and challenge the President,” Kenneth Lehman, who attended Thursday’s rally, said.
Many of the almost 5,000 Tulsans who came out said they are ready to play a role in the political process. Santorum found plenty of support in the partisan crowd.
“I was so happy when he came to Tulsa. I agree with everything he said. I've liked him from the beginning, and I am ultra right conservative,” Gina Rice told FOX23.
Santorum spent most of his time talking faith, family values, and energy. He says Oklahoma would benefit from energy industry reforms he would propose.
“It is an important aspect on economic growth in America. We think our record on energy our understanding of the energy markets as well as our energy plan (would be best for Oklahoma),” Santorum said.
Santorum believes this won't be his last stop in Tulsa. He says Green Country may unexpectedly lead one candidate to the White House.
“We're going to spend a lot of time here, and we think we're going to do well here.”
Santorum has surged in the most recent Gallup poll. He is tied with Newt Gingrich at 20 percent; Mitt Romney leads all GOP candidates with 36 percent support. Ron Paul came in fourth with 10 percent support. This poll was taken before Santorum got those three big wins earlier this week, so he could gain even more in the coming days.
A statement from ORU states the university does not support or opposed candidates for public offices.