An unscientific survey of U.S. military personnel shows they support President Bush for re-election by a 4-to-1 ratio. Two-thirds of those responding said John Kerry's anti-war activities after he returned from Vietnam make them less likely to vote for him.
In the survey of more than 4,000 full-time and part-time troops, 73% said they would vote for Bush if the election were held today; 18% said they would vote for Kerry. Of the respondents, 59% identified themselves as Republicans, 20% as independents and 13% as Democrats.
The survey was conducted Sept. 15-28 by the Army Times Publishing Co., which distributes the weekly newspapers Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times. (Army Times Publishing is owned by Gannett, which also publishes USA TODAY.)
Army Times Publishing sent e-mails to more than 31,000 subscribers and received 4,165 responses on a secure Web site. The publisher cautioned that the results are not a scientific poll. Its readers are older, higher in rank and more career-oriented than the military as a whole.
Even so, experts who examined the survey results said they do not bode well for the Kerry campaign's efforts to woo the military, a traditionally Republican and conservative voting bloc. The Kerry campaign has highlighted his war record in an effort to burnish his credentials as a prospective commander in chief.
"You can't dismiss" the results, said Peter Feaver, a Duke University political scientist who for years has studied the political leanings of the U.S. military. Feaver said it's unlikely that Bush will receive 70% of votes cast by military personnel. But the results suggest it will be difficult for Kerry to make substantial gains among a group that has strongly supported Republican presidential candidates in the post-Vietnam era.
Feaver said he suspects Kerry is losing support among those in uniform because he seems less committed than Bush to prosecuting the war in Iraq.
My brother called home again today and says that they still haven't recieved them.
He was in Sammara! I'm glad I didn't know that. He says the Iraqi 'militants' fight really dirty. They hold children in front of them as human shields. He says it was the most intense fighting he had been in so far. God, I worry about him...