Poll Suggests U.S. Troops Support McCain 3-1
A Military Times poll indicates landslide support for John McCain, who captures 68 percent of the military vote to Barack Obama’s 23 percent.
A poll by the Military Times newspaper group suggests that there is overwhelming support for John McCain among U.S. troops in every branch of the armed forces by a nearly 3-1 margin.
According to the poll, 68 percent of active-duty and retired servicemen and women support McCain, while 23 percent support Barack Obama. The numbers are nearly identical among officers and enlisted troops.
The Military Times, which publishes the Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times, polled 80,000 subscribers from Sept 22 to Sept. 29. The non-scientific survey gathered 4,300 respondents — all of them registered and eligible to vote.
A racial divide was immediately evident among the respondents. Nearly eight in 10 black servicemembers chose Obama, while McCain captured 76 percent of white voters and 63 percent of Hispanic voters.
Numbers among men and women respondents were also visibly different. Men overwhelmingly said they would vote for McCain, 70 percent to 22 percent. But among women the margin was much closer: 53 percent support McCain, while 36 percent support Obama.
U.S. troops also said in the poll that they prefer McCain to handle the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — 74 percent said McCain would perform better, while just 19 percent said Obama would.
Four years ago the Iraq War was the single most important issue on which the military voted. But the war now ranks third in importance to these voters. The most important issue among the respondents was character (42 percent), followed by the economy (25 percent) and the Iraq War (16 percent).
There was a racial divide on these issues, as well. Black servicemembers said the economy was the No. 1 issue that affected their vote, and white troops said character was paramount.
The Military Times offered certain caveats for its poll, which was open only to its 80,000 subscribers. Responses were entirely voluntary and were not focused on a representative sample of the public, as scientific polls are. The troops polled were also somewhat older than average enlisted servicemembers and included more officers than is representative of the military as a whole.
Yet judging by the numbers, it appears that the Democratic party has not made many inroads into the traditionally Republican military.
Military Times poll: Troops backing McCain
By Brendan McGarry - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Oct 9, 2008 5:44:48 EDT
Sen. John McCain enjoys overwhelming support from the military’s professional core, a Military Times survey of nearly 4,300 readers, indicates, though career-oriented black service members strongly favored the Democratic Party candidate.
McCain, R-Ariz., handily defeated Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., 68 percent to 23 percent in a voluntary survey of 4,293 active-duty, National Guard and reserve subscribers and former subscribers to Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times.
The results of the Military Times 2008 Election Poll are not representative of the opinions of the military as a whole. The group surveyed is older, more senior in rank and less ethnically diverse than the overall armed services.
But as a snapshot of careerists, the results suggest Democrats have gained little ground in their attempts to significantly chip away at a traditionally Republican voting bloc in campaign messages and legislative initiatives, such as the recent expansion of GI Bill benefits, experts said.