The Military Times papers have released their second presidential poll of 2008, and it contains more good news for John McCain.
Results of the second survey, conducted between 16-20 October, shows that career military members remain solidly behind the GOP nominee. Seventy-one percent of those polled for the latest survey are supporting Mr. McCain, compared to only 25% for his Democratic opponent, Senator Barack Obama.
In the Times’ previous poll, published in late September, McCain held a 68-23% lead.
The new survey also affirms other trends from the earlier survey. Last month, 42% of military respondents said that the candidate’s character was the most important factor in deciding who to vote for. In the latest poll, almost half (49%) listed character as the deciding factor. Twenty-five percent listed the economy as the most important factor, while only 16% said the War in Iraq was the most critical issue.
Participants also suggested that not enough attention is being paid to military concerns. By an overwhelming margin (70-12%), respondents said the presidential candidates are not devoting sufficient attention to issues affecting the armed forces, and those who serve.
Military support for John McCain also extended to his running mate, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Forty-five percent of those surveyed said Palin was better prepared to lead the country, if necessary. Forty-two percent believe that Obama’s running mate, Delaware Senator Joe Biden, is better qualified to step in as commander-in-chief.
While the Military Times poll is considered a reliable gauge of career armed services personnel, it is a voluntary survey, based on participation by subscribers. Consequently, it is impossible to determine the margins of error normally associated with opinion polls. Times’ editors also note that their subscribers tend to be older–and more conservative–than the military as a whole.
However, the publication’s previous presidential survey indicated broad support for the GOP ticket. In that poll, Obama had a majority in only one military demographic–black members of the armed forces.