While troops deployed abroad might be giving more money to Barack Obama, a poll released today says that John McCain will get the vast majority of votes from members of the military and veterans.
According to Gallup, McCain leads Obama 56 percent to 34 percent, with 11 percent expressing no opinion or picking someone else.
Obama spoke to the Veterans of Foreign Wars today in Florida, a day after McCain addressed the gathering.
Gallup said the poll is based on aggregated data from its daily tracking poll between Aug. 5 and Aug. 17, involving more than 11,000 registered voters, including 2,238 military veterans. Veterans are defined as those who are or have been members of the US military. Obama led McCain 46% to 43% among all registered voters during the period.
The military vote could be a difference maker in several traditionally Republican states where Obama is trying to pull off upsets, including North Carolina and Virginia.
And McCain would seem to have the edge because veterans tend to be Republican and because of his experience as a decorated Vietnam War veteran and prisoner of war. Obama did not serve in the military.
In its final pre-election poll in 2004, Gallup said that 60 percent of likely voters who had served in the military backed President Bush, compared with 40 percent who supported Democrat John F. Kerry. Gallup said: "It is notable, then, that McCain is doing only about as well among military veterans as Bush did in 2004, despite the two Republican candidates' varying military backgrounds. (Bush was in the Texas Air National Guard, but did not serve overseas.)"
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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.