Mike Kueber's Blog

May 28, 2012

Veteran gaps and gender gaps

Filed under: Culture,Military — Mike Kueber @ 7:27 pm
Tags: ,

An article in Sunday’s USA Today reported a new Gallup poll found that American veterans prefer Mitt Romney over President Obama by a shockingly large margin – 58% to 34%.  This compares favorably to war hero John McCain, who was preferred over Obama by veterans in 2008 by only 54% to 44%. 

Gallup was reluctant to speculate on the reason for the veteran gap, but provided two “chicken vs. the egg” explanations:

  • Why veterans are so strong in their preference for the Republican presidential candidate is not clear. Previous Gallup analysis has suggested that two processes may be at work. Men who serve in the military may become socialized into a more conservative orientation to politics as a result of their service. Additionally, men who in the last decades have chosen to enlist in the military may have a more Republican orientation to begin with.”

Neither of these explanations, however, explains why Romney, a Mormon who never served, enjoys a much larger gap over Obama than did John McCain, a war hero.  I suggest that veterans in 2008 gave Obama the benefit of a doubt, but that Obama has long since worn out his welcome with veterans.  That theory is supported by the fact that Romney’s percentage is only 4% higher than McCain’s, while Obama’s percentage has dropped from 44% in 2008 to 34% in 2012.  Romney has not won the veterans; Obama has lost them.

The Gallup poll also revealed that men prefer Romney over Obama by 8% while women prefer Obama over Romney by 7%.  I remember in the golden, olden days of Ronald Reagan, the media would argue that Reagan’s political viability was threatened by an even bigger gender gap, and they would ask what Reagan planned to do to earn a higher percentage of the women’s vote.  Inexplicably, they didn’t ask the trailing Democrats how they were going to get a higher percentage of the men’s vote.

I am encouraged that the media no longer makes this type of “glass half empty” argument against Republicans with reference to the electoral gender gap.  I do, however, see it used in areas of other social concerns, like pay equality or higher-education attainment or SAT scores.  As a man, it feels odd to have the media rooting for women to perform better vis-à-vis men.  Furthermore, in many areas women are now outperforming men, and at some point the cheerleading will have to stop.  Do we then start cheering for the other side?



  1. have you read the fourth coming. a contrived book but an interesting view of the western world. imagine a cycle with 4 phases. one of the phases is when a nation faces a crises so severe that all little differences are put aside (they still exist but the people don’t address them). example, USA in 1940. the facist threat was so strong around the world that to some degree the USA put aside the views of blacks, whites, men, women. one might argue we should be like this all of the time. as a nation we need things done and should match strengths with needs regardless of birth attributes… just saying

    Comment by q — June 3, 2012 @ 5:47 pm | Reply

    • Couldn’t find anything such book titled Fourth Coming or The Fourth Coming or Fourth Comings.

      Comment by Mike Kueber — June 6, 2012 @ 10:54 am | Reply

  2. […] is based on the fact that Walker won men 59% to 40% while losing women 52% to 47%.  I recently blogged about being grateful that the media had finally quit harping about Republicans needing to do […]

    Pingback by Walker wins in Wisconsin « Mike Kueber's Blog — June 6, 2012 @ 12:13 pm | Reply

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