Great Prezi on 2012 Election

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56 days left until voting. Here is a snapshot of who actually votes in elections. 

56 days left until voting. Here is a snapshot of who actually votes in elections. 

Who Will Win the Presidential Vote Among Veterans?

By Sam Pauken

The veteran vote will prove to be one of the important swing constituencies in the 2012 race and both campaigns. When recent polls showed some pretty significant differences in approval ratings for President Obama and Mitt Romney among veterans, we had to dig a little deeper to figure out what was going on.

 What do the polls say?

According to a recent Gallup poll released two weeks ago of 3,300 U.S. veterans, veterans favor Romney 58 percent to 34 percent. If you consider non-veterans though, both candidates are tied 46 percent to 46 percent.

A Reuters/Ipsos online poll of “Gen at war” individuals indicated different results.  This one states that post-Gulf War veterans and their families favor the President over Romney 44 percent to 37 percent, while non-veterans favored the President 42 percent to 35 percent.  These results are very similar when compared with those of all registered voters, with the President leading 45 percent to 39 percent.  (Reuters/Ipsos did not provide any analysis of their results.) 

What’s going on here?

The Gallup results may be linked to two factors.  As those in the military become socialized to military life and military views, they become more politically conservative.  Additionally, within the past decade, many of those who have enlisted are believed to have been Republican before enlisting.

Part of the disparity between these two polls is the samples are completely different.  The Gallup poll was a survey of veterans, regardless of which war(s) they served in, while the Reuters/Ipsos poll was of post-Gulf War veterans and non-veterans.  Both of the Reuters/Ipsos groups are from the “Gen at war” group, and there is no explanation in the poll report as to what this group is.  As demographics are far less diverse among post-Gulf War vets with respect to age, we can expect these polls to yield differing results.  Additionally, the vast majority of living veterans served in Vietnam, and older generations generally lean more conservative, explaining the overwhelming support for Romney over the President in the Gallup poll.

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