Obama makes a play for veterans in Nevada
The Presidential race still appears to be something of a tossup to most observers. It’s likely to be a close election no matter who the eventual victor is, so candidates are making every possible demographic group a priority.
The veteran vote is one to watch closely as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have created millions of young veterans who are demographically dissimilar from previous generations’ warriors. Their families also reside disproportionately in a handful of swing states as a result of the location of military bases.
All of this would explain why Obama has repeatedly emphasized things like the killing of Osama bin Laden. Today the President will address the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) convention, conveniently located in the swing state of Nevada. His rival, Mitt Romney, will also speak to the VFW tomorrow.
Veterans and service members have a historical tendency to favor the Republican Party, and aMay Gallup poll shows Romney leading Mr. Obama 58 to 34 percent among registered veteran voters.
But in 2008, Mr. Obama won a majority of votes from veterans under 60 years old. Meanwhile, a May survey from Reuters/Ipsos shows Mr. Obama leading Romney nationally among veterans and their families by 7 percent. From the Obama campaign’s perspective, there’s a real chance that the president could win a majority of the veteran vote this November.
It’s entirely possible. But unless a deal is made to avert the defense cuts coming as a result of last year’s debt ceiling fiasco, President Obama will likely get the blame for the harm to national security that will result from gutting $1 trillion from military spending.
Meanwhile, a group called Veterans for a Strong America has gone viral with an ad comparing Obama taking credit for the killing of Bin Laden to the valor of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. It already has over 1 million views on YouTube and has been shown on various news programs. Take a look: