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Don Inbody
Educator and former naval person. Author of The Soldier Vote: War, Politics, and the Ballot in America (2015). @txst AD0K
Educator and former naval person. Author of The Soldier Vote: War, Politics, and the Ballot in America (2015). @txst AD0K

Don's posts

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Amateur Radio Station AD0K
+Peter Vogel

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“As a member of the U.S. military, Prof. Inbody brings unique insight to this study of the political attitudes and orientations of members of our armed services. Perhaps more importantly, he brings an intriguing theoretical approach—borrowing from sociology and organizational theory—and a fantastic and comprehensive array of survey data detailing the attitudinal differences between enlisted personnel and officers, blacks and whites and Hispanics, men and women, and younger and older personnel. This research adds considerably to the nascent literature on military attitudes.”
Daron Shaw, Professor of Government, University of Texas

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Is Political Science baffled by the apparent rise of Donald J.Trump? What about populism? Is the race really a statistical tie? Interested?

Join us on Monday, 3 October 2016 on the Texas State University campus.
7:30 pm in the Alkek Library Room 250 (the teaching theater).

Dr. Daron Shaw, of the University of Texas will discus the Election of 2016, what we know, and what we don't know.

Free admission. Come early to get good seating.

Q&A following. 

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Chiefs 17 - Packers 7 at 4th Qtr. Get a summary of the Green Bay Packers vs. Kansas City Chiefs football game
via @ESPN App

With the start of the new semester here at Texas State University, it always brings thoughts of new projects and things to write about. My book is published and seems to be selling fairly well, so it is time to figure out what to do next. (Check out The Soldier Vote: War, Politics, and the Ballot in America.)

Voting for military personnel and overseas citizens remains a strong interest, especially with the upcoming general election. I see some interest in how our military will vote - are they for Trump or for Clinton? Well, it's not so simple.

The data is thin - it is always thin with active duty military personnel - but what we do know is that neither candidate is popular. Of course, the same attitude can be applied to the general population.

Here is what we know:

White males are more likely to favor Trump while white females and all non-whites tend to favor Clinton. To figure out how the "military vote" will turn out hinges on the proportion of active duty personnel in each of those demographic categories.

Conventional wisdom says that the American military is conservative and strongly Republican. Evidence says something different. Only two detailed surveys on political behavior have been completed on enlisted personnel who make up 85 percent of the force. They are largely non-college educated, but are more highly educated than the general population. Essentially all enlisted personnel have at least graduated from high school and those who have not have mostly earned their GED.

Demographic groups that tend to identify as Democrats are over-represented in the American military. However, those same groups, except for white females, tend to vote at lower rates than does the general population. Also, most of the force is under the age of 30,another group that tends to not vote.

Officers are entirely different than enlisted personnel. That is not surprising as essentially all officers are college educated. Additionally, 85 percent of officers are male and most of them are white - a demographic that tends to vote Republican. So, while officers are, as a group, strongly conservative and Republican, the same, E cannot be said of enlisted personnel.

Enlisted personnel are more likely to be independent than officers. Also, the proportion of enlisted who call themselves Republican is almost exactly the same as the general population. Remarkably, however, the number of enlisted personnel who identify as Democrats is significantly lower than the general population.

As far as voting, it appears that active duty military personnel will vote at at least the same rate as the general population, although the Federal Voting Assistance Program will claim the rate is higher. However, recent research has revealed that military personnel stationed overseas, and especially those in combat zones, vote at a substantially lower rate than the general population. We think the voting participation rate of overseas stationed personnel may have been as low as 15 percent for the 2012 general election.

More recent questioning of military personnel reveals that of those who might otherwise be inclined to vote for the Republican candidate, a growing number are indicating that they like the Libertarian candidate - Johnson. We don't have reliable polling on that, however.

So, how do we think the "military vote" will go this November? It appears that it will match the general population and probably favor Hillary Clinton. Not by much, though. The white male vote will likely favor Trump, but will be mitigated by a low turnout among junior enlisted personnel. More senior personnel will tend to actually vote, but Black, Hispanic, and female personnel will strongly favor Clinton.

If you have data, let us know. It is hard to find reliable data about the political behavior of military personnel, but we are working to find it where it exists.

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A nice surprise today from the the Dean in our Liberal Arts College faculty meeting. Recognizing my work with the Overseas Vote Foundation, testimony before the Presidential Commission on Election Administration, and support for the Veterans Alliance at Texas State University (VATS). #thanks

Thinking of going to Rome in Dec Jan. Advice? 
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