Wednesday, December 26, 2007

troops' support

an interesting story out there somewhere is how the bush administration seems to have lost the military vote. members of the military and their families, rightly or wrongly, have long been seen as reliable republican voters. so much so that a key republican strategy during the 2000 florida vote counting debacle to get the absentee ballots included in the final tally, even if they didn't technically fulfill the legal requirements of a valid ballot. the theory was that the absentee votes would be disproportionately ballots of overseas service members and their families and thus that those votes would be mostly republican votes.

but now there has been a trickle of stories suggesting the old dynamic might be changing. for almost two years there have been a series of polls showing support for the bush administration's handling of the war was low among military members. but the most dramatic indicator was last summer when ron paul got almost 50% of all republican donations from people in the military. that surprising statistic ended up being a precursor to the lone anti-war republican candidate's success in society at large.

anyway, the data is still pretty scarce, and what does exist seems to show more of an anti-iraq war sentiment than anything else. but i wonder if a lasting legacy of the bush administration might be to break the republicans' lock on the military vote. if so, then that really would be a big story.