Poll: Most voters don’t care about candidates’ military records
DENVER (AP) – A new poll of Colorado registered voters has found that most don’t care much about the controversy surrounding military records of George Bush and John Kerry – but also that those records could prove significant to an important bloc of voters in the state.The poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the Rocky Mountain News and KCNC-TV in Denver, found 77 percent of respondents indicating that what they had learned through the media or other sources about Bush’s military service record in the National Guard during the Vietnam War would not have much effect on their vote.The poll group, which included 500 people who said they were likely to vote in November, was split into two on questions regarding Kerry’s Vietnam War experiences.When half of the respondents were asked whether Kerry’s conduct in the war would have much effect on their vote, 69 percent answered no. When the remaining half was questioned about Kerry’s opposition to the war after returning home and whether that would have any affect on their vote, 67 percent of the voters said it would not.The poll did not ask voters about the controversy concerning Bush’s performance in the Texas National Guard, but did find that strong feelings among some Colorado veterans could give Bush a slight edge in the state.”They’re a big bloc, one-third of the voters,” said Lori Weigel of Public Opinion Strategies.Veterans account for some 18 percent of registered voters in Colorado. Add their family members, and the figure jumps to 34 percent.”The only people who are saying that it (the military records) has an effect to any great extent are veterans,” Weigel said. “It’s the veteran vote that is responding to this issue and no one else.”Twenty-eight percent of veterans replied they were “much less likely” to support Kerry based on his Vietnam War record; 26 percent were “much less likely” to vote for him based on his postwar opposition.Veterans had less criticism for Bush based on his record in the National Guard, with 19 percent responding that it would make them “much less likely” to back the Republican incumbent.Public Opinion Strategies conducted the poll Sunday, Sept. 12, and Monday, Sept. 13. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.33 percentage points.
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