Wonky Muse
Wonky Muse

August 15, 2008

Deployed Troops Show Obama Love

With hard cash, by a ratio of 6 to 1 over McCain:

According to an analysis of campaign contributions by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Democrat Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain, and the fiercely anti-war Ron Paul, though he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination months ago, has received more than four times McCain's haul.

Despite McCain's status as a decorated veteran and a historically Republican bent among the military, members of the armed services overall -- whether stationed overseas or at home -- are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008, by a $55,000 margin.
Quite a departure from 2000, when Bush outraised Gore among the military by 2 to 1. This time, only the Marines contribute more to McCain. All the other branches: Army, Air Force and even McCain's own branch, the Navy, gave more to Obama.

I wonder if wingnuttia will now call these troops surrender monkeys. Or dirty effin' hippies. Then again, 59% of them -- except for the Coast Guard who favor Democrats more across the board -- still contribute more to the Republicans in Congressional races than to Democrats. Which means they still lean conservative with their donations. They just don't like handing their money over to McCain.

Some might argue that the sampling is too small (292 donations at $200 or more) to mean anything, but the bigger sampling of contributions from all military personnel (859) shows the same trend.

Donations can be prompted by a lot of things, and as Atrios notes, it's hard to read what our military thinks overall, but when people shell out money to a candidate, they are showing their commitment. They have a vested interest in that candidate winning, and it's not a stretch to predict that these donors are voting with their wallets.

Take it from Army specialist Jay Navas, who contributed $250 while deployed in Iraq:

"He [Obama] was right on Iraq long when others were jumping into the sea like lemmings, and that's hard to do. We're soldiers and we respect courage." ...

"Most of my friends are conservative Republicans and they say, 'I'm voting for Barack.' McCain does not have a lock on the military vote, that's for sure," he said. "We'll complete our duty -- I'm deploying next year -- because it's a commitment I made to the nation, not to a president. But we all know that Iraq was a big mistake."
Firedoglake additionally explains why this is happening:

Could it be that the troops don't want to stay in Iraq for the next 100 years or more? Or that they don't feel comfortable with a Commander-In-Chief who doesn't know the difference between Sunni and Shia? Perhaps they don't appreciate his opposition to Webb's amendment to give them longer rotations home, or to Webb's update to the GI Bill?
It'll be interesting to hear from McCain himself what he thinks of this. Paging the so-called liberal media...

More reactions at Memeorandum.

Charts: Opensecrets.org.
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posted at 12:17 AM by Wonky Muse

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Wonk (noun): def. A political nerd. Know spelled backwards.

Wonky Muse is the other Filipino American female political blogger. The sane, liberal one.


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