It’s Memorial Day today, so Gallup released a relevant poll revealing that Mitt Romney has a distinct advantage among U.S. veterans. This falls in line with veterans’ voting lines over the past few elections, in which they usually trend Republican.
But Romney has an even bigger lead over Obama with veterans — 58 per cent to 34 per cent.
The poll is also noteworthy because it displays a shift from a Reuters/Ipsos poll in mid-May that showed Obama was leading the veterans vote by as much as 7 percentage points.
Gallup’s sample is based on 3,327 veterans that also said they were registered voters while being contacted for Gallup’s daily tracking poll.
Veteran men, which make up most of the veteran population, account for an even more distinct difference. They prefer Romney almost 2-to-1 — 60 per cent to 32 per cent. Veteran women choose Obama by a 47 per cent to 42 per cent vote.
Veterans account for about 13 per cent of the population. Veterans in past elections have gone Republican. But recently, it has been at least somewhat close. John McCain, a Vietnam War veteran, got 54 per cent of the veteran vote to Obama’s 44 per cent in 2008. George Bush, who was in the midst of leading the U.S. as commander in chief during two wars in 2004, won 57 per cent of the vote.
Gallup points out that this will be the first election since World War II in which neither candidate is a veteran. Here’s some analysis from editor in chief Frank Newport of why veterans may be trending more Republican this year:
Men who serve in the military may become socialized into a more conservative orientation to politics as a result of their service. Additionally, men who in the last decades have chosen to enlist in the military may have a more Republican orientation to begin with.
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