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Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Troops' Support

One thing that gets lost in all the right-wing hammer swinging over "supporting the troops" by keeping them in a war that should never have been fought in the first place, asking no questions and cottoning no dissent from Dear Leader's directives, is who the troops themselves support. Well, if you take all that nonsense at face value (and they're counting on you to do so), according to the folks at Open Secrets (which tracks political donations), you might be a little surprised by reality:
According to an analysis of campaign contributions by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, Democrat Barack Obama has received nearly six times as much money from troops deployed overseas at the time of their contributions than has Republican John McCain, and the fiercely anti-war Ron Paul, though he suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination months ago, has received more than four times McCain's haul.

Despite McCain's status as a decorated veteran and a historically Republican bent among the military, members of the armed services overall -- whether stationed overseas or at home -- are also favoring Obama with their campaign contributions in 2008, by a $55,000 margin....

..."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, said Aaron Belkin, a professor of political science at the University of California who studies the military. "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."

In 2000, Republican George W. Bush outraised Democrat Al Gore among military personnel almost 2 to 1. In 2004, with the Iraq war underway, John Kerry closed the gap with President Bush, but Bush still raised $1.50 from the military for every $1 his Democratic opponent collected.
Six to one. That is astounding.

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