More than 3,000 American armed forces personnel polled by the Military Times favor Mitt Romney over President Barack Obama by a whopping 2-1 margin – because of the economy and not because of particular military issues.
Poll results indicate that about 66 percent of those surveyed support Romney, compared to about 26 percent who say they will vote to re-elect President Obama.
The website said the survey of 3,100 professional career men and women “rated the economy and the candidates’ character as their most important considerations and all but ignored the war in Afghanistan as an issue of concern.”
The poll included active duty career personnel, National Guard and reserve members who are subscribers to the Military Times newspapers.
It said the population is older than the regular military but “is representative of the professional core of the all-volunteer force.”
One blatant difference between the makeup of the respondents and the general American public is race and gender – approximately 80 percent of those polled are white and 91 percent are male.
In addition, 80 percent of the respondents have college degrees, including 27 percent with at least a graduate degree.
“There is really an affinity for Republican candidates, even though [troops] say that what counts is character and handling the economy,” Richard Kohn, who teaches military history, told the Military Times.
Approximately 66 percent of those polled cited the “the economy” or “the character of the candidate” as the most important concern, and less than 16 percent cited “national security.”
“When I talk to my soldiers, it’s not social issues. It’s almost not even military issues. What it comes down to is pocketbook issues,” said one 28-year-old Army captain who took the survey in late September. “They currently see Mitt Romney as being stronger for their pocketbook.
“It comes down to taxes — how much are they going to have to pay — and are they going to be able to find jobs if they leave the military,” said the captain, who, like most troops interviewed by Military Times, requested anonymity before discussing personal political views.
Despite Romney’s strong lead in the poll, Obama is three percentage points ahead of the 23 percent support he won in the Military Times poll in 2008, when 68 percent backed Republican Sen. and Vietnam war veteran John McCain.