Veterans and the 2008 Candidates
Gallup surveyed a random sample of adults (not screening for likely voters) and found a substantial difference in the attitudes of veterans and non-veterans toward the major 2008 presidential candidates:
It’s interesting that non-veteran Rudy Giuliani is viewed considerably more favorably than Vietnam War hero John McCain, the only veteran in the field. Other things jump out at me, too: Hillary Clinton is the only candidate with majority disapproval and veterans are far less likely to have “No Opinion” than their non-veteran counterparts.
The problem with univariate analysis such as this, however, is that it masks some rather important issues. Upon closer examination, we find that, “roughly 9 in 10 veterans in this sample are men.” And, of course, veterans are far more likely to lean Republican.
If we break it out by party identification, here’s what we see among the major candidates:
Gallup’s Jeffrey Jones concludes,
[V]eterans are not likely to be a key voting group in the Democratic nomination contest. However, they could very well tip the scales in the Republican primaries and caucuses to Giuliani or Thompson, assuming the latter officially enters the race. Veterans will likely rally around the Republican nominee in the general election phase of the campaign, particularly if Clinton is the Democratic nominee.