A new poll finds Mitt Romney is popular among U.S. veterans.
Veterans prefer Mitt Romney over Barack Obama for president in the 2012 election by 58 to 34 percent, according to a Gallup poll released Memorial Day. The survey also showed that non-veterans support Obama over Romney by four percentage points, 48 to 44 percent.
About 13 percent of American adults have served in the military. —TEB
Why veterans are so strong in their preference for the Republican presidential candidate is not clear. Previous Gallup analysis has suggested that two processes may be at work. Men who serve in the military may become socialized into a more conservative orientation to politics as a result of their service. Additionally, men who in the last decades have chosen to enlist in the military may have a more Republican orientation to begin with.
Veterans’ strong preference for Romney in this election occurs even though Romney himself is not a military veteran—though Obama shares this nonveteran status. This will be the first election since World War II in which neither major-party candidate is a veteran.
Barring unforeseen developments such as the re-institution of the military draft, the proportion of the male population in this country that will have served in the armed forces will decrease in the years ahead as the older population dominated by veterans dies off. These data suggest that Democrats could get an overall boost from this demographic phenomenon as these apparently reliable Republican voters become a smaller and smaller proportion of the population.