American troops put their money on Obama
WASHINGTON – Republican John McCain‘s warning that Barack Obama isn’t ready for the awesome job of commander-in-chief may not be registering with a key constituency: the American military.
According to a study released by the Washington watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics, U.S. troops, and especially those deployed abroad, are talking with their wallets and saying they want Democrat Obama as the next president.
Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than McCain and the “fiercely anti-war Ron Paul,” another Republican presidential candidate, CRP said.
According to the group, Obama received $60,642 in contributions from 134 troops deployed abroad. McCain only got $10,665 from 26 soldiers, while Paul received $45,512 from 99 troops.
Through June 31, CRP said contributions from all U.S. military personnel netted Obama $335,536, compared with $280,513 for McCain.
McCain, a Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war, has been a vocal supporter of the Iraq war, while Obama, who never served in the military, has campaigned on a promise of ending the war, now in its sixth year.
CRP notes the trend in campaign contributions is especially interesting given that those serving in the military traditionally lean toward Republican candidates.
But in the McCain-Obama race, only those serving in the Marine Corps are contributing more heavily to the Republican than the Democrat. Even the Navy, where McCain spent his military career, is favoring Obama by significant margins, CRP said.
One possible reason for Obama’s advantage: “The Obama campaign has just been so much savvier with Web-based donors. It may be a logistical question,” University of California political science professor Aaron Belkin tells the group.
– Photo credit: Reuters/Mike Blake (U.S. military personnel salute at a baseball game, June 9)