Romney, Obama compete for veteran vote, Florida emerging as battleground
By Joseph Weber
Published May 26, 2012
The effort to win the votes of military veterans in the presidential election takes the spotlight Memorial Day weekend, with President Obama and Mitt Romney each attending public events and arguing he has a better plan to improve veterans' weak unemployment situation and other issues.
Romney is scheduled to appear Monday with Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain at a Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in San Diego, a conservative region and so-called Navy town.
McCain, a decorated Navy officer and Vietnam prisoner, won the veteran vote over Obama as the Republican nominee in the 2008 election.
The GOP has long been considered the party that supports a strong national defense and holds the vote of veterans and active-duty members. But the percentages are dropping and the vote appears to be up for grabs this year.
President George W. Bush won the veteran vote by 16 percentage points in his 2004 race against Democrat and Vietnam veteran Sen. John Kerry.
McCain won in 2008 against Obama, though only by 10 percent, 54 percent to 45 percent.
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