It’s long been a political given that military voters skew Republican. Georgetown University professor Rosa Brooks, writing in Foreign Policy, says that may have been the case in the 1980s and ’90s; now military voters more closely track how the general population votes. And on some issues, service members are even slightly more liberal than civilians.
Here’s the article.
The Myth of the Republican Military Voter
By Rosa Brooks
(c) 2012, Foreign Policy
WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are said to be tussling over the fabled “military vote,” and during this extraordinarily tedious election season, both have highlighted their fondness for all things military. Despite the efforts of both candidates to drum up military support, however, most commentators assume that the military “naturally” supports Republicans over Democrats. But will “the military vote” really favor Romney next week?
Romney hopes it will, and right-wing conspiracy theorists are convinced it will — that’s why they keep huffing and puffing about alleged Obama campaign attempts to suppress military votes, through methods as devious as neglecting to inform service members of their voting rights and supposedly burning military ballots.
But the Obama campaign has no reason to hope that service members don’t vote, and Romney shouldn’t count his chickens before they hatch. The military is far from a “natural” Republican voting bloc. Although the military appears to have skewed Republican in the 1980s and ’90s , for most of the last century the politics of military personnel appear to have more or less mirrored the politics of the civilian population.
There’s ample reason to believe that this is the case again today.
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