In South Carolina, John McCain has been running campaign ads that have touched down on his record in the Vietnam War. While McCain has many war veterans at his corner, getting the veterans’ vote is not that simple. Even amongst retired military personnel, they deem that both the economy and health care are important factors when they vote.
To them, the candidate is more important and not the uniform. Also, there are military veterans that are Democrat.
“Veterans have a lot in common with other voters in this state and that makes it hard to pigeonhole them,” according to Danielle Vinson who is a political science professor at Furman University. Vinson adds: “In the past, the veterans have not been a consistent voting block.”
More than any of the other Republican candidates, John McCain is speaking directly to the war veterans themselves during campaign events along with speaking in ads that stress health care for veterans along with his years of being a POW in Vietnam. McCain’s message has generated resonance in all branches of the military and military installations throughout South Carolina.
“The rest of these jokers don’t say anything about veterans, except McCain,” said Vietnam War Veteran, Ronnie Alexander who is 61-years-old.
However, veterans too are also considering US Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton’s work on medical care for National Guard troops. They also found attractive US Democratic hopeful Barack Obama’s ads on curbing the high cost of prescription medicine.
Eugene Mitchell, a registered black Democrat said he supported candidates from both parties in the past. However, jobs, economy, and high fuel prices are major concerns for him. Mitchell started his military career fighting in the Vietnam War.
“If war were the only issue, I could easily vote for McCain. But there are a lot more concerns out there – so I may go for Obama, maybe Hillary. I’ll have to decide,” Mitchell explained.
Religious veterans were attracted to Mike Huckabee while veterans that run small businesses were attracted to Mitt Romney.