Poll: Romney holds substantial lead among veterans

As the nation remembers veterans who have served their country throughout the U.S. military, a new Gallup poll reveals that those same veterans overwhelmingly support Mitt Romney over President Obama in the race for the White House.

Fifty-eight percent of veterans support the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, with just 34% holding out their support for Obama. That 24-point spread is a sharp contrast to the 48%-44% lead Obama holds over Romney among nonveteran voters, and the even 46% both receive among all registered voters.

One major factor among the demographics of American veterans that works against the incumbent president is their gender, which weighs heavily in Romney’s favor. While Obama has consistently held advantages with women in the polls, just 2% of women are veterans, compared with 24% of all men. As one would expect, 60% of veteran men prefer Romney compared with Obama’s 32%, while Romney holds a 1-point lead among nonveteran men, 46% to 45%. Women veterans slightly support Obama over Romney, 47% to 42% which is 2 points beneath the nonveteran support for Obama among women.

Age also plays a factor in the polling, though the shifts between older and younger veterans aren’t as significant as those between men and women. Two-thirds of veterans are age 50 or above. Though veterans under 50 still overwhelmingly support Romney by a 27-point margin, at least 60% of those above the age of 60 all support Romney, with no margin lesser than 25 points between the two candidates. The number of veterans among the total population substantially increases among older age groups, with significant majorities of men age 70 or older having served, compared with less than 20% of those younger than 50.

The national results of the poll are based on telephone interviews conducted between April 11-May 24 among a random sample of 43,352 adults with a margin of error of plus or minus 1%. Telephone interviews conducted specifically with veterans were held during the same time frame, with a random sample of 3,327 with a margin of error of plus or minus 2%.