The veteran vote: Is it up for grabs?



President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visit Fort Stewart on April 27.

President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visit Fort Stewart on April 27. (Sgt. Uriah Walker / Army)

Two stories appeared May 14 that look at how military veterans, particularly those of the two most recent wars, might vote in the upcoming presidential election.

A Reuters piece, “Weary warriors favor Obama,” suggests that vets are reluctant to check the box for a hawk after a decade of war.

“Only 32 percent [of veterans who served in the last decade]think the war in Iraq ended successfully, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. And far more of them would pull out of Afghanistan than continue military operations there. … If the election were held today, Obama would win the veteran vote by as much as seven points over Romney, higher than his margin in the general population.”

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney greets a Marine veteran during a February campaign rally in Colorado. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)

The Washington Post’s story said President Obama is actively courting military veterans as a voting bloc.

“… the makeup of the nation’s armed forces is changing, and Obama hopes to win over veterans by appealing to the same subgroups that propelled him to victory in 2008: women, minorities and young people.”

Another bit of news came out May 14 that might affect how veterans vote: Ron Paul announced he was scaling back his campaign for the Republican nomination and will not spend money in upcoming primary contests. It’s worth noting because the Texas congressman was garnering the most donations from current and former members of the military, with Obama in second and Romney a distant third.

Given these stories and the continuing budget battles on Capitol Hill over spending on the military and VA benefits, who do you think veterans are more likely to vote for and why?


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  1. Overall Mitt Romney’s support for pork defense spending and wanting to start new wars in Syria and Iran makes most military men and vets tired of the GW Bush mentality which has gotten so many American GIs killed all for A corrupt and Islamist government in Baghdad which is now repressing there own people makes many dislike the failed Bush Policies that Romney is championing. Overall doesn’t matter Obama will win majority of minority and with the Dems rich base get him reelected. the GOP blew it by nominating a failed liberal like Romney. Too bad Ron Paul, Herman Cain or Mike Huckaby wouldn’t be the candidate they are the only one who might have been able to beat Obama but not now.

  2. I simply can’t vote for a President who advocates deep military cuts to those who gave so much to our nation. He was eerily silent on cutting benefits such as retirement, even cutting those who are currently in the military without a grandfather clause. I am concerned with Romney’s views on extending the military to wars we should not be invovled in, but I do believe Romney will maintain the integrity of the promises the nation gave to servicemembers.

  3. Don’t jump to the conclusion that Obama will br ereelected or that he will carry a majority of the military vote. His policies towards military retirees are well known. He talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk. Obama/Panettea would like to QUADRUPLE TRICARE PREMIUMS for military retirees. Only the GOP in congress stands in his way. Many current and soon to be retirees have MULTIPLE combat tours including both of my sons They rely on TRICARE for theiir health care as well as their families health care. The word is on the street and the feedback I get from m y sons is that he is very unpopular with the frontline troops.

  4. Charlie Hooah Poulton on

    I spent 36years serving on active duty and went through several presidents. This is one president that I could never endorse for president. There were several that I served under that I did not respect as leaders and this is one of those men. I do not trust what he says he is going to do because for the most part he has not come across for what he said he would do in 4 years. Fast and Furious is a prime example of trust but the economy is a mess and he won’t talk about it. This is a no brainer for this old warrior.

  5. I voted for Pres. Obama last time and that will be the LAST time. The reader “Gary” is right when he says:
    “Obama/Panettea would like to QUADRUPLE TRICARE PREMIUMS for military retirees.” I retired from the US Army after 25 years (August 2010) and have seen nothing from Pres. Obama for two years in a row no COLA increase for retirees. His staff better get busy if they want to grab the VET VOTE, they will not grab mine.

  6. I’m more concerned about the state of our country than I am about our military vets and retirees. This country is going in the crapper and there aren’t enough people willing to stand up for what’s right!

  7. Can’t say I run across ANY vets that would vote O’bama back into office. I’m at the VFW fairly often and the talk is always what a crap job he’s done.

    Dont even ask the SF guys what they think of him.

  8. Wasted my vote last time by voting for Obama, not this time. The man will decimate the military if re-elected. Have you seen his CinC photo? Where’s the American flag? Oh yea its push over to one side so it is hardly noticeable. It’s unbelievable how anti military this President is.

  9. Da'ud Muad'dib on

    Gary, besides Patricia Campion, the conservative political commentator for the Tampa Independent Examiner or The Washington Free Beacon, a website started just this year also with a conservative bent, what reliable source do you have for your assertion, is there a single speech, statement or interview where the President has even hinted that he wants to raise the premiums for Tricare. If so, please site the source. The president and first lady have made the military and military families a priority of this administration and the first priority of the First Lady and Dr. Biden. Sources: “Obama unveils strategy to help military families” LA Times 1.24.11, “First lady champions military families” Washington Times 4.12.11. To find out more just Google “first lady and military families” and you will find plenty of well sourced articles about all that they have done for or serving men and women.

  10. Da'ud Muad'dib on

    – As for COLA increases check out and you will see that COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) is tied to inflation and it is congress who must pass it and only then can the president sign off on it so your beloved Republican controlled congress is who has held it up these past few years. But take heart it will go up 3.6% for 2012.
    -Regarding his CinC photo, google his then GW’s and see the difference, if you are going to complain please pick something of substance to complain about.

  11. Tricare has not had an increase in premiums since it’s creation in the mid-1990’s. While health costs have increased steadily since then. For Army civilians it can cost between $50 to $150 every two weeks for much less coverage than Tricare — and that’s just for the employee, not the family! Their copays run $10-$50 for each doctor visit. Inpatient cost is way more than $11 per day. To pay about $50 a month for your entire family is fantastic! Very grateful for the Tricare retiree coverage. Would gladly pay 2-3 x more a month to get such great coverage with little or no out-of-pocket expenses.

  12. This is easy. I am a disabled vet and i am voting for Romney. This should be an easy call for any sane thinking person.

  13. I retired at the end of 2008 before Obama took office. I spent 8 tours (SF) in Iraq and Afghanistan. I do agree that Tricare rates are incredible, but, I am also willing to pay more if needed, within reason. I have friends and family that pay 700-900 a month for health insurance. Even if the government doubled my rates for the year, thats thousands of dollars less than what the average citizen pays. Yes, we were promised benefits, but there needs to be compromise. As for VETS re-electing Obama, no one I know or call a friend will be voting for him. No president or candidate is perfect and they will all somehow “screw” us over in someones opinion. The direction Obama and his czars have taken us has not been what he “sold” the country in his campaign. Would Romney be any better? Who knows, but we can’t have another 4 years of this.

  14. John McIntosh on

    4 more years of Obama with no election to temper him could well finish the US economy, and certainly will harm national security to the point that it may take generations to recover. The National Debt and our economy can’t take 4 more years of Obama. We need change. And hope. Obama didn’t deliver. I don’t think he can. I certainly don’t think 4 more years will change that.

  15. your vote don’t count I never voted period
    and I will never vote it is called electroial vote that pust the prisiedent in office and yes obama aka osama part 2 is going to win he has CA yes CA which has the highest electorial votes now the only way our great king will losse if somebody runs against him that is how it is run period your vote don’t mean jack crap now on if Obama wants to get rid of the military there will be massive civil unrest and our great ecomony will go further in the tank not to mention all our enemys will be raping and pilleging this country I hope his wife and daughters get rape by the terrorist and see how he reacts

  16. I am voting for President Obama for re-election just as I voted for him for election. I have almost 10 years in the Navy, I am in the VFW, I am 28 and I fit almost as many of the demographics as the rest of you here. My position is simple, the Republicans want more war in more places and are not building a military that could handle peace time operations. Absurd budget requests, an outright hateful stance on DADT, a closed mind on new ways that may be or are known to be better and a desire to chop every other American’s programs for an absurd stance on Tricare all lead me in a new direction. I was born and raised in the south, attended Southern Baptist Churches and watch as GW Bush sold out average American’s. Now, as an adult, I cannot ever drag myself to vote for a Republican for President. John McCain is not even liked by the VFW and got a letter saying so just this year. One of the few people who could stand tall for vet’s has been in Washington long enough to never need Tricare, VA, his pension or any help from any Comrade. No thanks.

  17. This president has yet to cut a dime from the welfare and give-away pots of federal dollars, but is on record with wanting to slash the Defense budget. That’s where your pay and benfits come from for risking your lives daily. We have 52% of the population not paying taxes who love the freebies, which will be continued with O’bamma in office. We need a new Cinc and need to sweep the “do nothing Senate”clean of Democrats to see real change in America.

  18. Don’t you believe what he republicans are telling you about taking care of the military. Remember during the Bush administration, how they voted to cut benefits for veterans? It is not the current president who is trying to cut the military. Congress in their great wisdom voted on the grand comprise to cut all sorts of spending. The country is in a fiscal bind due to republican policies during the Bush administration. Unfortunately, everyone has to sacrifice in order to get the country back on right track. Also, don’t forget the obstruction of the republician party during the past three years. They voted no on everything. They voted no, even when the country would had benefitted. If you think they care about the military, then you better think again. They want to increase the military budget to benefit big business, not for the benefit of the country.

  19. I am 15 year US Marine and I will vote for President Obama for reelection in Nov. He has been good for current and future Vets. I, as Marine, look beyond just military issues when it comes to voting for president. I look for what they stand for and are they willing to stand up for the average American and not just military…after all we will all leave the military some day. This president has been extremely judicious with the military in terms of not send us to fight every war that a Republican president would get into without any reservation whatsoever. So, for all you who think the Republicans has your best interest at heart are gravely mistaken. All they wants to do is use us to profit themselves and the contractor buddies.

  20. i am a vietnam veteran. Obama is the worst president ive ever seen.I think nixon showed more honesty than this guy.Id vote for a rock b4 i would vote for obama. 4 more years, and we will all have to learn another language(either chinese or russian)

  21. I care less to be red or blue, at the end of the day I do math and the answer is Obama . Clinton had to been the best president we ever had then the Bush era started and then Obama was given all the mess and were mad at him because he didn’t fix all the problems in time ,as Americans were very weird wouldn’t you say.

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