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Ohio




Obama woos vets in Ohio with the help of the vice president's son
Beau Biden argues that President Obama's records shows a long, strong commitment to vets
by WKSU's GRANT ENGLE
This story is part of a special series.

Reporter
Grant Engle
 

Veteran and active-duty military have traditionally leaned Republican.

But 2008 hinted at a generation gap among those voters. And the Democratic Party is now trying to swing those voters in the swing state of Ohio.

Beau Biden, a veteran of the Iraq War and son of Vice President Joe Biden, says the heart of the Veterans and Military Families for Obama campaign is to inform people of President Obama’s record of helping veterans.

Biden on Obama commitment to vets

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"This is a commander and chief who has increased spending  on behalf of veterans every year that he's been in office. He's spend more money on behalf of veterans benefits than any president has in 30 years. And his budget for the upcoming year increases veterans benefits to the tune of about 10 percent."

Still, the numbers say it will have to be a strong sell. In 2004, President George W. Bush won the veteran vote 57-41 percent over John Kerry. In 2008, John McCain beat President Obama 54-44 among veterans.

Joel Lieske is a political science professor at Cleveland State University. He says veterans traditionally identify with Republicans because of issues like military spending.

Lieske on traditional leanings
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"Republicans are also more hawkish I think in regards to our stance in the Middle East and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Democratic party has been more dovish ... in the past 50 years, going back to the Vietnam war."  

The Obama  campaign is focusing on swing states with large military populations, including Ohio, Virginia, Florida and Colorado.

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