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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

One Demographic, Persistently Immune to Obama’s Sales Pitches



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From the Tuesday edition of the Morning Jolt:

One Demographic , Unsurprisingly, Persistently Immune to Obama’s Sales Pitches

Remember these headlines?

May: Obama Courts Veterans’ Votes with Outreach Campaign

July: Obama Courts Veterans’ Support as Election Campaign Resumes

July: Obama to US Veterans: ‘I’ve Got Your Back’

July: Obama bets on young veterans

September: “Obama Looks to Veterans, Military for Support

Yeah, well, looks like we’ve found one demographic particularly skeptical of Obama’s record and promises:

Even as Obama leads in Colorado, Florida, Ohio and Virginia, Mitt Romney is up by double digits among veterans in those states. Nationwide, he’s got a commanding 20-percentage-point lead over Obama and has overtaken the president with younger veterans.

“It’s no contest,” said Maurice Tamman, a Reuters data news editor who has polled on veterans and the presidential campaign.

Obama’s campaign has been trying to improve on a historical Democratic disadvantage on national security and among veterans by touting the killing of Osama bin Laden, ending Iraq combat operations and winding down the war in Afghanistan. They’ve also been talking up the administration’s attention to veterans’ benefits and efforts spearheaded by first lady Michelle Obama, hoping to appeal not just to the troops but to the spouses and other military family members who have coped with long separations and multiple deployments.

Instead, even as Obama has been gaining in the overall polls, several NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist polls conducted from Sept. 9-11 had Romney well ahead of Obama among veterans in Florida, Ohio and Virginia. And in Colorado, a poll released Sept. 16 by SurveyUSA and the Denver Post found both veterans and military families supporting Romney over Obama 53 percent to 39 percent in a survey that included third-party candidates.

Back in May, Obama had the lead among Afghanistan and Iraq veterans. But a Reuters/Ipsos poll from September says that’s evaporated, with Romney now up 48 percent to 34 percent.

Now, there could be many reasons for this. Obama may be trailing because veterans, as a group, lean to the right compared to the rest of the electorate.

Or it could be the allegation that letters sent to parents of Navy SEALs killed in Afghanistan were signed by an electronic auto-pen. Or it could be Obama supporters flying the “revised” version of the American flag, featuring Obama’s face instead of the traditional stars.

Maybe it’s the “Veterans for a Strong America” group that put together that ad hitting Obama for taking too much credit for the mission that killed Osama bin Laden.

Maybe it’s the book by the Navy SEAL on the bin Laden mission that painted such an unflattering portrait of Obama.

I’m sure you can come up with your own theories.


Tags: Barack Obama , Mitt Romney , Polling , Veterans


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