It's not a ton of money or large number of donors, but it is interesting to note that more US military members deployed abroad are backing Democrat Barack Obama than Republican John McCain.
The Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan group that tracks campaign money, reported today that Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than McCain. Ron Paul, who like Obama opposes the Iraq war, has received four times McCain's amount though he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination.
Through June 30, Obama had received 134 donations totaling about $61,000 to 99 totaling about $45,500 for Paul, and 26 contributions totaling less than $11,000 for McCain, who graduated from the US Naval Academy, was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, and highlights his military experience.
Among all members of the military, whether deployed abroad or not, the gap between Obama and McCain is smaller, though Obama is still getting 57 percent of the cash.
The trend is a shift from both 2004 and 2000, when Republican George W. Bush substantially outraised John F. Kerry and Al Gore, respectively, among the US military. And if the shift in money translated to votes, it could be more significant.
"That's shocking. The academic debate is between some who say that junior enlisted ranks lean slightly Republican and some who say it's about equal, but no one would point to six-to-one" in Democrats' favor, Aaron Belkin, a professor of political science at the University of California who studies the military, said in the center's report.. "That represents a tremendous shift from 2000, when the military vote almost certainly was decisive in Florida and elsewhere, and leaned heavily towards the Republicans."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.