Obama Takes in 6 Times More Cash — Among the Military!

Having been in the military myself and still having quite a few former-military friends, this story really surprised me. It seems that Obama is significantly out-raising McCain for $$$ from soldiers abroad, very significantly:

A new analysis shows the vast majority of US troops serving abroad have donated to candidates running on strong anti-war platforms, with presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama out-raising his Republican opponent by a 6-to-1 margin.

Furthermore, among all military members (both home and abroad) although Republicans are out-raising Democrats generally, when it comes to the presidential race, Obama is taking in 57% of the donations… 

Maybe to some readers that may not seem strange — I mean, who stationed in Iraq wouldn’t want to donate to the guy who will bring him/her home faster, right? Well, when you’re in the middle of “the shit” you tend to get a little patriotic and pro-military. You tend to see what you’re doing as the “right” thing, and you sure as hell don’t want to think you’re wasting your time…

…and whether it’s a correct perception or not, Republicans are seen as tough/patriotic/strong, Democrats are wimps…

Now I’m not saying I thought that way during Gulf War 1, working on my tan under the Saudi and Iraqi sun, reading e.e. cummings, and swiping MRE hot chocolate to make mochas — but I can tell you it’s not an uncommon perspective.

Clearly, there is something very different going on here.

Update

A friend of mine (widely know as the Mysterious V) points out that the real numbers behind these ratios are tiny. According to a Washington Post article, 134 soldiers donated to Obama verses 26 for McCain. With so few people represented, the significance of the 6-to-1 ratio is greatly reduced… I would say it highlights the apathy among our troops more than anything else.

3 Responses

  1. Since I was in elementary school and don’t recall, what was the overall feel about the “necessity” of the Gulf War? When I hear people draw parallels to this current clusterf**k, it’s to compare it to Vietnam. From what I understand feelings were split then amongst those who absolutely believed it was the right course of action and those who absolutely believed it was the wrong course of action. A number of soldiers started lives over there and a number of soldiers turned to opiate use, to such epidemic proportions, many soldiers were not allowed to return home unless they were rehabbed prior to return (so I learned in a Narcotic course in college, if I’m wrong, sorry). One of my best friends whose life goal was to attend West Point Academy like his father and grandfather who wanted to live the life of an American soldier is leaving the Army after his required 6 years because he’s “tired of being sent back to Iraq”. Maybe everyone is just tired. Tired of fighting over there, tired of fighting about it over here.

  2. You are certainly right that different conflicts have different levels of support. And I’m sure that if this Iraq War had lasted 6 months like the previous one, McCain would be doing quite a bit better among the military.

    In Vietnam, the US draft was still in effect, so many of the soldiers were either there without volunteering, or they volunteered in order to have some choice about what their military “profession” might be… In other words, it was a less enthisiastic force…

  3. Might it not also be possible that the reason for the very low absolute numbers of service personnel donating to presidential campaigns is due to how well (or badly) they get paid? Maybe they just can’t afford to donate to anything.

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