Traditionally, veterans tend to vote Republican. Fifty-four percent of veterans voted for John McCain in 2008 and 57 for George W. Bush in 2004, as Business Insider points out.
But this year, veterans are splitting for President Barack Obama.
According to a new poll by Reuters/Ipsos, “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:”
Romney, along with his primary rivals Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, had also accused Obama of “appeasement” toward U.S. enemies – a charge that drew a sharp Obama rebuttal. “Ask Osama bin Laden and the 22 out of 30 top al-Qaeda leaders who’ve been taken off the field whether I engage in appeasement,” the president shot back. He has reproached GOP candidates: “Now is not the time for bluster.”
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.
The shift in support could stem in part from the fact that Romney has no specific plan to address veterans’ issues. On top of that, Romney-backers are working hard to “swiftboat” the president and claim he does not support American troops.
But Obama has done his share to earn the support of veterans. He released a plan to help save the homes of foreclosed-on veterans, started an initiative to get soldiers into jobs when they return from wars, and the First Lady has started a series of programs to ensure job opportunities to military spouses.