With more than 60 percent of voters registered as Republicans, Enid is a conservative stronghold – and has been since the days when Oklahoma was still a U.S. Territory. The city has voted overwhelmingly for Republican candidates for president since 1968. In the 2012 presidential election, more than 75 percent of voters in Garfield County, where Enid is located, voted for Mitt Romney, compared to just 23 percent for Barack Obama.
While Enid has grown more diverse over the years – the Latino population doubled between 2000 and 2010, from nearly 5 percent of the total population to more than 10 percent — the city of 50,000 has managed to retain small town American values. Enid boasts several dozen churches, and some 61 percent of residents claim affiliation with a religious group. Currently, there are no synagogues or mosques in Enid.
Until 1998, Enid was home to Phillips University, founded by the conservative Disciples of Christ denomination. The university was the first four-year institution in Enid, and its legacy lives on. The Phillips University Legacy Foundation awards scholarships and provides leadership training to students attending Disciples of Christ-affiliated colleges and universities. Enid is still home to several private Christian schools, including Bethel Bible Academy, Emmanuel Christian School, Enid Adventist School, Hillsdale Christian School and Oklahoma Bible Academy. Enid residents are also more likely to support businesses that share their conservative Christian values, like Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A, both of which close on Sundays to allow employees to attend worship service.
While the city’s prosperous oil and gas industry took a hit when gas prices started to drop, Enid is on the verge of a comeback. Companies, such as PAE Applied Technologies and Koch Industries, which operates an ammonia production plant in Enid, are still faring well. Koch Industries is owned by famed businessmen and political donors David and Charles Koch, known primarily for their conservative leanings.