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Veterans At The Polls: Republicans Are In, Democrats Are Out

Veterans have made their intentions at the polls clear: Republicans are in, Democrats are out, with veterans voting for Republicans at a rate 20 percentage points higher than Democrats, The Washington Post reports.

The difference of support for parties in House races represents a significant number, since veterans this year at the polls comprised 17 percent of the total vote.

Support for Republicans among veterans has remained steady in the last few years. Back in the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney easily took the veteran vote by 20 points. Part of the trend is explained by age. Since almost all veterans are men with an average age of 60, the demographics favor conservative voting patterns. However, even given demographic probability, veterans are even more likely to vote Republican than non-veterans in the same demographic.

It seems unlikely veterans will turn to the Democrats any time soon. Numerous polls confirm overwhelming support for Republicans. A Pew Survey from 2012 found that veterans serving after 9/11 were 15 percentage points more likely to call themselves Republican. Compared to veterans who served before 9/11, the number drops to only a four point advantage in the GOP’s favor.

In 2013, The Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation Survey polled respondents who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan, finding that 45 percent placed their affiliation with Republicans, compared to only 33 percent with Democrats. But veterans still vary according to traditional demographic lines. For example, non-whites and those with lower incomes reliably vote Democratic.

For the midterm elections, Democrats won 64 percent of non-white veterans in the House, whereas Republicans only received 35 percent of the same vote. For veterans who make less than $50,000 dollars a year, support for Democrats grew to 47 percent, while support for Republicans dropped to 50 percent, the lowest margin difference out of any other category.

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