Troops stationed abroad donating to Obama by six to one margin

posted at 3:02 pm on August 14, 2008 by Allahpundit

Via Cuffy Meigs, who’s wondering what the plural of anecdote is. The left will happily run this up the flagpole, just as Ron Paul’s supporters did last year, despite the fact there are so many variables in play that no one’s quite sure what the actual significance of it is. Is it evidence that the troops favor withdrawal? Evidence that the military’s trending left? Evidence that Obama’s supporters are more enthusiastic than McCain’s? None of the above? All of the above?

Although 59 percent of federal contributions by military personnel has gone to Republicans this cycle, of money from the military to the presumed presidential nominees, 57 percent has gone to Obama…

A former West Point professor, Jason Dempsey, noted that the small set of contributions from deployed troops at this point in 2008 — just 323 donations — should not be extrapolated to form conclusions about military personnel overall. “If, on a bad day, a guy gets that letter that says [his tour has been extended] from 12 to 15 months, that could spur a quick donation and expression of anger,” he said. “Donating helps members of the military express their political views privately.”…

CRP’s totals based on employer are limited to donors contributing more than $200, since information is not provided to the Federal Election Commission for smaller contributions. So these figures are likely to disproportionately represent the mood of officers, who have more disposable income to spend on politics than do the lower ranks. But because young people tend to be more liberal than their elders, the total dollar figures could lean even more in Obama’s favor.

“One possibly mundane explanation (for the tilt in contributions from deployed soldiers) is that the Obama campaign has just been so much savvier with web-based donors. It may be a logistical question,” Belkin pointed out.

Bush outraised Gore and Kerry by wide margins among military employees so Obama’s lead over McCain is noteworthy, even with a small, skewed sample. But again — what is it, precisely, that we’re noting? The fact that Paul does disproportionately well among the same group probably means it’s a war thing; it may be that there’s a core group of troops who are passionately opposed to extending the occupation for whatever reason and they’re willing to donate to candidates to achieve that end. That group was likely too small in 2004 to help Kerry given how recent the invasion still was, but after five years it’s grown along with the rest of the anti-war tide among the electorate. Evidence, then, that most troops want out? Maybe! Except … the data doesn’t specify whether the donations came mostly from Iraq or were spread out around the globe, and interestingly, the one branch where McCain leads Obama in contributions is the one most likely to see the hardest action — the Corps. Beyond that, the would-be McCain soldier-donor has a hurdle to clear on his way to his checkbook that the Paul and Obama donor doesn’t. By kicking in to Maverick, he’s making it marginally more likely that he’ll continue to be deployed in the field and away from his family in the future. Even if he agrees with McCain’s foreign policy, thinks we ought to finish the job in Iraq, and is willing to continue serving bravely and well to that end, it’s asking a lot to ask him to pay for the privilege.

Anyway, all theories welcome. For your enjoyment, here’s a related Ron Paul ad from January celebrating the huge tide of military support that comprises the three-percent rEVOLution.

Update: Headlines comments imported.

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Comment pages: 1 2

Blacks will be blacks.

marklmail on August 14, 2008 at 8:55 PM

I am sorry but I do not see how this sample is large enough to be indicative of anything.

I am sure that Tom Shipley had his ilk will try to make this into some big political statement about the war or something, but if those troops do not want to be in Iraq, they don’t have to be. It is not necessary to vote for someone like Obama to get out of Iraq. Just do not join and do not reenlist.

I do know that McCain wins in areas of the country where there bases and more military personnel.

But you know, there are minorities in the military and a lot of them might be supporting Obama. You look at the numbers of African Americans supporting overall, it is not out of the question that some black soldiers might do the same thing.

Terrye on August 14, 2008 at 9:31 PM

BTW, I gave money to McCain and I could have put down anything for my occupation etc. How did they verify this?

Terrye on August 14, 2008 at 9:34 PM

And overseas would include Japan, Italy, Korea, Germany, Dubai, Qatar, Kuwait, Kosovo… a combination of war zones and peaceful duty. I just don’t think it means anything. The real question is how will they vote?

Terrye on August 14, 2008 at 9:37 PM

At this particular point, who knows, who cares.

GarandFan on August 14, 2008 at 10:23 PM

That’s why we saw all those huge crowds of military personnel, cheering and yelling “Yes we Can” whenever he thanked them on behalf of a grateful nation, for their Courage, Bravery, and Sacrifice.

Didn’t we?

franksalterego on August 14, 2008 at 7:51 PM

No, no, your hearing must be going. Were you in the Field Artillery, by chance?

It wasn’t “Yes we Can!”, it was “#uck you Man!”

MB4 on August 15, 2008 at 3:40 AM

As a retired GI (25 years), my observation the direction of donations and support to pull out stems from the fact that this is the first conflict, wherein much of the fighting is being conducted by more State National Guardsmen and women than ever.

The balance between regular military, reserves, and various Guard units (whose primary duty is to assist and protect the state they are assigned to. Thus, their actions reflect hometown support.

The regular forces are held together by a common bond of defeating an enemy that means the nation harm. Thus, their attitudes and actions are based more on individual and right to free choice and tend to support those who support their mission = goals and objectives.

MSGTAS on August 15, 2008 at 10:18 AM

This is scary. When our military supports an anti-America and an anti-military candidate, it makes me nervous. I know stupidity is a part of youth, but I would think our guys would know better. On the other hand maybe they’re tired of fighting a war that only recently El Presidente Jorge Arbusto is letting them win. They may be concerned they’ll wind up in Georgia too.

abcurtis on August 15, 2008 at 10:47 AM

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