Years of brutal Tea Party austerity has made even Oklahoma GOP voters more open to tax increases
A conservative Tea Party Express protest of big government and Obamacare in Dallas. Taken September 04, 2009 in Dallas, TX. (Ken Durden / Shutterstock.com)

Oklahoma is one of the most Republican-friendly states in the country, as it hasn't voted for a Democrat for president since the 1964 election of former President Lyndon Johnson.


However, it seems that even one of America's most conservative states is growing tired to the Tea Party-led anti-tax austerity that gripped the country in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent election of former President Barack Obama.

The Washington Post reports that former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett is one of two Republican candidates who is set to face a run-off for his party's nomination for governor later this month -- despite the fact that he has a record of raising taxes during his tenure running the city.

"Cornett, the top-vote getter, at just under 30 percent, prevailed even though as mayor he pushed for higher taxes, questioned congressional efforts to hastily overturn the Affordable Care Act, supported a local gay rights ordinance and co-wrote a letter with liberal New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio urging the federal government to spend more money on transportation and public works projects," writes the Post. "He also backed state tax increases to pay for teacher pay raises."

Helen Swope, a Republican voter who spoke with the Post, gave Cornett credit for using tax increases to make the city a better place to live.

"The whole city has been transformed," she said. "You get a lot of promises a lot of the time and nothing happens, but now there were a lot of promises and things happened."

The reaction against Tea Party austerity in the state began earlier this year when teachers across the state went on strike to secure both pay raises and increased funding for their schools.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who first won election as part of the Tea Party wave back in 2010 and who embraced the Tea Party movement during her campaign, is currently the most unpopular governor in the entire country, as a recent poll showed she had an approval rating of just 19 percent, with a disapproval rating of 74 percent.