As the Iraq war drags on and US casualties mount, members of the military appear to be showing their discontent by donating more to Democrats, a campaign finance watchdog group said today.
Service members have traditionally supported the Republican Party, but there has been a dramatic shift since the war started in 2003 away from financial backing for GOP candidates for president and Congress, the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics said.
So far this year and in the 2004 election, about 40 percent of contributions from donors identifiable as military members has gone to Democrats, compared to about one fourth in the 2000 and 2002 cycles, the center's study said. Service members gave about $1.8 million in the 2004 cycle and about $330,000 this year, the study said.
Democrat Barack Obama, who is calling for a troop withdrawal to start immediately, has received the most of any presidential candidate from uniformed service members -- about $27,000.
Ron Paul, the only Republican candidate who opposes the war, has brought in at least $19,250 -- more than Vietnam War hero John McCain, who supports the war and has raised $18,600 from military personnel.
The center's report quotes Lieutenant Colonel Joyce Griggs, an intelligence officer who contributed to Obama: "People are saying enough is enough. If you're a soldier, you're going to do your job, do what you're commanded to do. But that sentiment is wide and deep."
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