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Veterans' Policies, Veterans' PoliticsNew Perspectives on Veterans in the Modern United States$
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Stephen R. Ortiz

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813042077

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813042077.001.0001

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Conventional and Distinctive Policy Preferences of Early-Twenty-First-Century Veterans

Conventional and Distinctive Policy Preferences of Early-Twenty-First-Century Veterans

(p.263) 11 Conventional and Distinctive Policy Preferences of Early-Twenty-First-Century Veterans
Veterans' Policies, Veterans' Politics

Jeremy M. Teigen

University Press of Florida

This chapter analyzes veterans’ policy preferences between the start of the Iraq War, in 2003, and 2008. Conventional wisdom describes veterans as more conservative, hawkish, and sympathetic to Republican issue areas than the general electorate. Using nationally representative survey data, these analyses, however, find that twenty-first-century veterans hold views that accord closely with the nonveteran population on most political matters. Once one controls for important correlates of political attitudes, including gender, age, race, and partisan identity, veterans resemble nonveterans on most policy preferences. On questions about domestic matters, including fundamental questions of redistribution, veterans hold the same views as nonveterans despite being a group frequently seen as a special beneficiary of government programs. On foreign policy, including attitudes toward the war in Iraq, veterans do not differ substantially from nonveterans. One notable exception is veterans’ distinctive views on gays serving openly in the military.

Keywords:   veterans, policy preferences, public opinion, gays in the military, Iraq War (2003)

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