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Poll Suggests U.S. Troops Support McCain 3-1

Original post made by peter s, Midtown, on Oct 21, 2008

A poll by the Military Times newspaper group suggests that there is overwhelming support for John McCain among U.S. troops in every branch of the armed forces by a nearly 3-1 margin.
According to the poll, 68 percent of active-duty and retired servicemen and women support McCain, while 23 percent support Barack Obama.

If you look at the raw data there is an interesting breakdown by race and gender-- fascinating link Web Link

Comments (45)

Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 12:28 pm

Are voters aware that Barack Obama wants to deny their daughters student loans unless they register for the draft? This should not be a surprise. In the July 23, 2007, CNN debate, Obama said he would impose Selective Service obligations on young women, though “not necessarily in combat roles.”

But in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,Web Link his own spokeswoman, Wendy Morigi, said that the senator would “consider officially opening combat positions to women” because they ”are already serving in combat.”

These statements reflect fundamental misunderstandings about three things:
1/The mission of the military,
2/the purpose of Selective Service registration,
3/and the definition of direct ground combat.
The armed forces exist to deter aggression and to defend the country—not to be an “equal opportunity employer” or to advance social agendas.

Posted by Huh
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 21, 2008 at 12:36 pm

Jane, should we kick the blacks and gays out or just go back to segregated units?

The SSS says its mission is "to provide manpower to the armed forces in an emergency." Why should women be exempt? Too weak to be of any help? Or too busy helping in the kitchen?

Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 12:43 pm

Women serve with courage and patriotism in the armed forces, and all deployed military personnel are serving “in harm’s way.”

The experience of being in danger, however, does not fit the definition of “direct ground combat.”

Battalion-level “tip of the spear” direct ground combat units are trained to attack the enemy with deliberate offensive action.

For many reasons that remain unchanged, Defense Department regulations Web Link exempt women from assignment in or near direct ground combat battalions.
In the fierce, physically demanding environment of direct ground combat (like Fallujah in November 2004), women do not have an equal opportunity to survive, or to help fellow soldiers survive.

Posted by Huh
a resident of Meadow Park
on Oct 21, 2008 at 1:21 pm

Interesting. And so women should be exempt from the Selective Service registration because...? I didn't see anything about "tip of the spear" or Fallujah in the SSS Mission Statement. Just that boring stuff about providing manpower for the armed forces. Did I miss it?

Posted by E Pluribus Unum
a resident of Hoover School
on Oct 21, 2008 at 2:00 pm

The breakdown by race is:

Black -79% Obama - VS - 12% McCain---

White -17% Obama - VS - 76% McCain---

That is truly astounding

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 21, 2008 at 2:20 pm

E Pluribus,

Why? Poor southerners make up the bulk of whites in the military--and, yeah, they're more likely as a group to have conservative views--and, yes, racist.


Obviously, you know nothing about the recruitment issues faced by the army right now. Obama said he'd consider the issue. That means he'll listen to the arguments and then judge accordingly.

Could a woman pilot a fighter jet? Sure. Not all combat positions require upper-body strength.

Registering for the draft is just that--doesn't mean that draftees will be dumped willy-nilly into positions. That's *never* been the case.

Posted by peter s
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 21, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Terrorist do not have an air force, is case you have not noticed, so we do not use fighters which in combat do require a great deal of upper body strength.

I too am amazed at the racial breakdown, if you want to from it as a " racist issue" then both groups come out equally racist.

If you take the time to look at the evidence it appears that black have different concerns vis a vis the election, but even so the gap is huge, does not bode well for an Obama regime.

Posted by Heather
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 21, 2008 at 2:50 pm

I believe we made a mistake when we allowed military people to vote at all in our constitution. Not only are the military more likely to be war mongers who would push policy in that direction, they are - as the post above says - more likely conservative and therefor racist in outlook. We don't need people like that voting.

An exception might be made for soliders of color since having suffered persecution themselves, they might not have the prejudices of the white soldiers. Moreover, minority soldiers almost always join because the racist capitalist system has left them no other economic choices, so the very fact that they are forced to be cannon fodder for the rich white upper classes is part of the discrimination against them.

Posted by PB
a resident of Hoover School
on Oct 21, 2008 at 2:57 pm


Good idea, why don't we just let ACORN decide who gets to vote, then declare obama president for life and have a banana republic.

Posted by but seriously
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 21, 2008 at 2:58 pm

whoa there, heather! I hate the racist implicatoins of those percentages too, but voting is a very important personal right granted to all citizens over 18 years of age. BEing in the military should not prevent people from being allowed to vote. The point of democracy is that everyone has a voice. Ack! I am horrified at the suggestion that we should allow only those who agree with us to vote. What happens when the other side applies that to us?

Posted by Wow
a resident of Barron Park
on Oct 21, 2008 at 3:23 pm

Wow, Heather, an unreconstructed radical lives in Barron Park! No wonder we don't have sidewalks here. Or maybe just a spoof ;-)

Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 21, 2008 at 3:26 pm


It is always good to have one more arrow in my quivver of hatriots. Thanks for the contribution!

Posted by Frederick
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 21, 2008 at 3:27 pm

I am not surprised that the military would vote overwhelmingly for McCain.

He is war hero, combat veteran and strong supporter of America winning its war while using good sense about which conflict we take on.

What really surprises me is that ONLY 12% of blacks in the military would vote for a warrior.

Posted by A real warrior????
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 21, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Frederick--are you saying that Obama is not a "strong supporter of America winning its war"?
McCain a warrior? Let's see--bottom of his class at the academy, wrecked a few expensive jets, shot down over Vietnam and it is not clear what happened then.
Don't you trust Colin Powell--a real warrior

Posted by Hatriot or not?
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 21, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Gary--what do you call Sarah Palin, when she states that only certain areas of the country are "pro-American"? Hatriot or not? Or just stupid?

Posted by Samuel
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 21, 2008 at 4:00 pm

The military is going to have real challenges if Obama is elected.

In this area we have an anti military bias, Stanford has not had an ROTC since 1969 and even now the Law School is trying to sabotage JAG recruiting on campus.

The UN approach to military is see soldiers as basically social workers/community organizers who just happen to have guns.
That is why the blue helmets are so incompetent and corrupt.

Obama and his advisers will try to replace the warrior spirit with a UN mandated Kumbaya approach, good luck with that.

It is unfortunate that General Powell seems unconcerned about Senator Obama’s radical agenda for the military.
Our men and women in uniform deserve better than public figures calling for radical and unnecessary personnel policy changes that will make their lives more difficult and possibly break the volunteer force

—all for the sake of what appears to be self-interested expediency.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2008 at 4:02 pm

My years of infantry training aided immeasurably in my survival of my war, a war in which inadequately trained draftees were cannon fodder. They were often just as brave, just as committed, but they paid a dear price to receive the training they needed to survive. We need a regular army and trained reserves, not conscripts.

Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 21, 2008 at 5:15 pm

Clever spoof of a right wing wingnut spoofing a strawman leftie there, Heather. Ever considered writing for SNL?

Posted by Mary
a resident of Gunn High School
on Oct 21, 2008 at 6:11 pm

In San Francisco the school board outlaws the Junior ROTC but has no problem indoctrinating first graders to support same sex marriage seeWeb Link

Interesting priorities they have.

Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Uhhh. Lets see a military publication surveys military personnel, and suprise the good soldiers tell em what they want to hear. Big revelation here. Funny, cause I just heard on the news last night that military families are starting to move toward Obama because they're getting sick and tired of the war toll.

Posted by Jane
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 21, 2008 at 6:31 pm


The Military Times is an independent publication that actually has a left wing bias, and has nothing to do with the Pentagon.

You obviously know nothing about the military and its culture, if you are going to comment on these matters then do your homework.

This is not a trivial matter, the military is our immune system, mess with it and guess what happens---- ?

Posted by What?
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 21, 2008 at 7:48 pm

Our military is our immune system? Does that make the Pentagon our liver? Or is that the Dept of Agriculture? And Congress of course is the bowels - but we all knew that one already!

Posted by pvt
a resident of JLS Middle School
on Oct 21, 2008 at 8:06 pm

I see that with hubris and the belief that obamas election is inevitable the true attitude of obamas supporter about the military is revealed, They look down on those who risk their lives to protect our freedom, mock on

Posted by Sally
a resident of Nixon School
on Oct 21, 2008 at 8:59 pm

I am sure that the EMTs, Firemen and Police will take into account the Palo Alto mockery of our brave soldiers.

Posted by et tu Sally
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 21, 2008 at 9:11 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Posted by parent
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 21, 2008 at 9:25 pm

I know enough to know that a good military man doesn't question his establishment. Particularly not via public embarassment (as in a public opinion poll to be published in a widely read publication). I wonder how many of the 66% in this poll would still support Bush (their Commander in Chief), if asked publicly today? Under these circumstances, I consider 33% a ringing endorsement of Obama. That's not cut down of military. Are you suggesting our military men and women are out there dissing their superiors? And you expect us to believe that? That's an even scarier prospect.

The fact is, any reasonable, intellectual, experienced person is thinking for themselves at this point - military or otherwise. And we see Obama endorsements coming flying in from the left and the right, all over the place. Don't worry, its nothing to be ashamed of. But putting up big childish threats? That's a different story, and not something I think many of those you theoretically purport to defend here, would approve of.

The actual point is, for every poll you can show that says McCain is leading, there are 10 others (not to mention the McCain campaign itself) that says Obama is leading. Believe what you want to believe, as I'm sure you will continue to do. But it doesn't speak volumes about your good judgement.

Posted by Samuel
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 21, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Intensity of commitment has long been a decisive component of historical military strategy.
It is possible to defeat a superior enemy if you can ‘outcommit’ him: take things to a level where he is afraid to follow. Napoleon did not anticipate that the Russians would burn Moscow rather than let him have it.
Napoleon was defeated.
Late in the Second World War the Japanese adopted the method of suicide attack, which became famous as the kamikaze.
The Japanese still lost, but only because the US was many times more powerful and had the Atomic Bomb to boot.
If the match were nearly equal things would have been much harder. Clausewitz observed that war is an act of force to compel the enemy to do its opponent’s will.
In that equation, it is not just the quality of the force, but the quality of the will that matters.
In politics, to a lesser extent, things are much the same.

If conservatives now realize that their political enemies are not simply out to win an election cycle but to effectively destroy them, the only surprising thing is that they were surprised.

Although it’s tempting to ascribe ruthlessness only to certain ideologies, it is potentially an attrbute of all “winner-take-all” world views.
The continued survival of a liberal democracy implies the absence of groups which see politics as a zero-sum game.
Once a significant political force decides that it — or its point of view — must dominate over all others, a social crisis becomes inevitable.
Lincoln put it this way: “In my opinion, it will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached, and passed. ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’ I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free.
I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided.
It will become all one thing or all the other. ”

Civility in political life can only be sustained when everyone owes their basic allegiance to the larger nation and subordinates their partisan identity to it.
When Joe Lieberman addressed the Republican National Convention of 2008, he referred repeatedly to this overarching loyalty as the cornerstone of political life itself.

I am here tonight for a simple reason. John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead America forward. And, dear friends, I am here tonight because John McCain’s whole life testifies to a great truth: Being a Democrat or a Republican is important, but it is nowhere near as important as being an American.

Whether that cornerstone still stands or has been replaced by other and more fundamental loyalties — to ideology, race or class — is something to be discovered.
The problem with winner-take-all politics is that it always carries the risk that political victories will be turned into a period of political occupation.
While there may be some doubt about what Barack Obama’s intentions may be, should he win the Presidency, there’s little doubt that for people like Ayers, Dohrn, Wright and Farrakhan, a victory in 2008 won’t be seen as “their turn”, but as their Destiny.

Posted by sara
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Oct 21, 2008 at 9:58 pm

you got that right it is our turn, we going to take it

Posted by Save America
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Oct 21, 2008 at 10:43 pm

Got polled by Gallup tonight.

I lied and lied and lied. I told the Gallup tool I was voting for Obana

If Obama is the answer the question was stupid.

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:41 am

Peter S.,

I think you can stop worrying about the split, latest polls show Obama's gaining across the board and is only slightly behind with military families in Virginia (2 points).

Colin Powell's endorsement matters.


Gee, Japan would have won WWII except that, well, gee, the U.S. was more powerful and had better weapons. No, really?

Napoleon wasn't done in by Russian will, but by Russian winters and the hell of keeping that long a supply line.

The South in the Civil War had lots of will, but lacked the sheer numbers of the North.

You don't actually know what you're talking about.

Electing a Democrat as president with a Democratic congress *is* a rejection of the Republican party's way of doing business. It's not the end of your party--it hasn't been before, I doubt it will be now.

Democrats don't think that way--that's the way *you* think. The Republicans were spouting stuff like the "permanent Republican majority", the Republicans did their best to block the Dem. minority in the Senate after Bush was elected.

That said, you guys are out of steam at this point and probably will be for some time. Among other things, Obama's election signals the end of the 60s culture wars. It's just not that meaningful to anyone under 50. Time to move on--that's why, in part, the Ayers thing is meaningless to most people.

The Republicans needs to regroup and rethink what they are as a party. At this point even the racists are apparently voting for Obama. (Which I find weirdly hopeful.)

Posted by Hooray!
a resident of Professorville
on Oct 22, 2008 at 4:57 am

OhlonePar, for the win!!!
Well said.

Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 22, 2008 at 8:50 am

MAry/Sally (you are one and the same--what does gay marriage have to do with this thread and why do you hate gay people?
How are people in Palo Alto "mocking our brave soldiers"? And what do you think that EMTs, Firemen and Police will do?

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 22, 2008 at 10:24 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Perhaps Heather was just suggesting Heinlein's solution from Star Ship Trooper [the book, not the movie] where those in the military were forbidden the vote, but after completion of service were the only ones to vote. The military desegregated a hell of a lot quicker than civilians; I know because I was there - the 3rd battalion of the 9th infantry regiment was officially Negro at Fort Lewis in 1950 but was desegregated on the boat; likewise the Nickle-O-Trey, Charlie Rangel's outfit. [Did I tell you I saved Rangel's life?]
I am always amused when Feather Merchants assume a presumption of ignorance among the military when the IQ and education level of the professional soldier smokes civilians.

Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:47 pm

Web Link

OP, from where the hell do you pull the "statement" that most military are poor white southerners?

Try reading some real data, above.

Summary..military reflects the rest of the nation's demographics with the exception of 1) more educated 2)more Republicans 3) more Catholics.

As for why the military is 3:1 for McCain: They don't want a military hating, crisis inviting, inexperienced hot-head who wants to invade allies in the belief that somehow getting Osama will bring world peace, yet pull defeat from the jaws of victory at the center of the battle in Iraq.

Something tells me that if Barack wins ( still an if, contrary to the all the hype), a lot of military folks are going to try to dump back into civilian life, except there won't be jobs waiting for them as we all draw into our economic shells.

Oh well, live and learn.

Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:49 pm

OP: Republicans did their best to block the Dem. minority in the Senate after Bush was elected... Huh? No, unfortunately, they didn't. If they had actually tried to, they would have succeeded and we would be lot better off. But, too many Repubs abandoned small government here we are.

By the way, "blocking" the minority is what democracy is. If the minority wins, it is called tyranny.

Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:50 pm

OP: Do you really believe the south lost from just "sheer numbers"??? And Russsia lost just because of cold winters?

You are really something else.

Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:51 pm

Russia won, not lost...

Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:53 pm

"Democrats don't think that way, that is the way YOU Republicans think.."

My God Almighty, you are turning into a stereotyping bigot before my eyes. Maybe you always were. Next thing I know, you will be making sweeping statements about Christians, Muslims, Chinese, Southerners, Military, ....

Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 22, 2008 at 12:55 pm

OP, "even the racists are voting for Obama"??? You must be kidding..there have been racists for Obama all along.

I was for him over Hilary because he was black and I thought he would do more good than Hilary if a Dem had to win ( which at the time I thought was a no-brainer). But, a lot of us who thought like that bagged out after we learned who he was.

Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Oct 22, 2008 at 8:37 pm


Yeah, army recruits are required to be high school grads, so that means some people are being cut who are in then general population.

More Catholics? Of course--there are a lot of Hispanics in the army.

You need to pay attention to what I wrote--Russian winters were one factor--but an even bigger one was keeping an extremely long supply line.

This isn't news--it's well known.

U.S. Civil War--the North had other advantages as well, but sheer numbers was part of it--the North was better able to sustain the enormous casualties that occurred in the Civil War.

I notice you don't offer any factual counters--just sputtering. Not convincing.

I see you tacitly agree that the Republicans tried to block the Dems in the Senate--thus, your kvetching about the Republicans who didn't fall in line. Note your logical error here--if there were no attempt at a block that there would be no issue of Republicans who didn't fall into line.

As for how Republicans think--we had a nice case of projection there where a conservative poster projected how Democrats would behave. The behavior was pretty much a mirror reflection of how Republicans had behaved while in power.

I simply flipped the statement back at the original poster. It is pretty outrageous isn't it? Well, that's what we Dems have had to put up with Republicans for years.

My comment about racists voting for Obama is based on a humorous anecdote I read about a voter using the N word saying he was voting for Obama--this was in Pennsylvania.

So what does your last comment mean, by the way? That you're a racist and you were for Obama at one point? You're not making much sense here.

By the way, my family started out in the South and has a long proud military history--the current GOP/McCain attacks on the patriotism of people who have a different political take them is *damned* offensive.

Tell me when the Republicans quit their smear campaigns where they accuse Democrats of being terrorists, unpatriotic and not real Americans. And then maybe, just maybe, we can talk about your wounded feelings.

But until you're ready to start owning up to the ugliness of those campaign strategies I'll take your wounded pride act with a grain of salt.

Posted by Joel
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Oct 22, 2008 at 8:47 pm

Biden says that Obama will be tested and that the people he was talking to at the fund raiser would not like Obamas reponse.

Iran attacks Israel and Obama throws Israel under the bus.

His policy adviser Samantha Power has said as much.

Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 23, 2008 at 2:48 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

An unrepentant bomber, whether of Pentagon or abortion clinic or Sunday school, is terrorist enough for me.

Posted by Walter's Walrus
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2008 at 7:09 am

So, Walter you have issues with McCain hobnobbing with terrorists?

Web Link

Posted by tj
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Oct 23, 2008 at 11:02 am

Video French archive releases new, moving footage of McCain POW interview

Link Web Link

Posted by A Follower is not a Leader
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 23, 2008 at 12:22 pm

McCain says he was "tested" in crisis (cuban missle crisis specifically), by sitting in a jet on the tarmack of an aircraft carrier, waiting for order to launch. Uhh, precisely. Waiting for orders to launch is not making the decision to launch (a war). The president in charge didn't launch. Would rash hotheaded McCain have launched?

This is a flawed logic that says McCain has the level headedness and sound decision making judgement to be a leader, just because he was an excellent follower.

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