Will The Afghan War Cost Obama Florida?

17. Do you think the U.S. is doing the right thing by fighting the war in Afghanistan now, or should the U.S. not be involved in Afghanistan now?
Right thing 27 % Should not be involved 64 % Don't Know /NA 9 %

Most media outlets reported the top line number from this week’s Q-poll without delving further into the numbers. Florida has a disproportionate number of enlisted men and military bases compared to most other swing states (obvious exception here is Virginia). The War in Afghanistan is rightly unpopular among Florida voters. Much like his predecessor, President Obama has gotten involved in Middle Eastern conflicts that make little geopolitical sense and where there is no endgame. In 2008, Obama distinguished between what he called the good war (Afghanistan) and the bad war (Iraq). But the reality is that neither war has helped further the geopolitical aims orĀ  enhance the national security of the United States .

George W. Bush’s foreign policy became unpopular in the state of Florida more quickly than it did nationally. Despite Bush’s 2004 victory in the state, opinion polls in 2005 consistently showed the Iraq war as being less popular in Florida than it was nationally. By early 2006, national opinion had caught Florida’s on the Iraq War.
When you have large numbers of enlisted men and military retirees, wars of choice cut differently in Florida than in other states. Both Bush and Obama have advocated a liberal Mideast policy based on nation building and idealistic visions of how the region should look. A problem continues to be how inconsistent the foreign policy goals and implementation by both Bush and Obama have been. While Florida voters are likely to cast their ballots on other considerations, the War in Afghanistan may be a tie breaking issue that cuts against Obama in the state or may motivate some liberal Democrats to not work as hard for the President’s reelection.
Much has been written about Obama’s potential problems with the large and loyal Democratic Jewish constituency in Palm Beach and Broward counties due to his perceived handling of issues related to Israel. But the reality is the continued lack of message clarity or perceived success on Afghanistan could be a more serious problem for Obama in the state.

8 thoughts on “Will The Afghan War Cost Obama Florida?”

  1. I think it is obvious Obama continues to bungle foreign affairs. Between this China fiasco this week, his problems in Israel and this war he is better off sticking to domestic policy.

  2. Those of us who supported Obama in 2008 was in part for his stance to the invasion of Iraq. However, his Bush like actions (more hawkish) on Afghanistan, the Middle East, the Patriot Act and the NDAA is disappointing.

    The younger generation of American Jews and Israelis want a better life for themselves and to live in peace with a two state solution. It appears that the radical zealots with the power are the ones with the voice both in the US and Israel. The youth are asking for their pursuit of happiness and to give peace a chance.

    Drowning people with fear is a way to retain power, but for how long and for what price.

  3. Concerned Palm Beach Democrat

    Will it cost Obama Florida? maybe it should. I do not understand why Democrats always feel they need to be macho and tough on foreign policy to be taken seriously. We got Bin Laden, now let us bring our boys home!!!!!!!!

  4. Excellent question. Why Obama persists with an unpopular war against an enemy unknown and less than relevant is anyone’s guess.

  5. Big difference.

    Iraq was a war of choice

    Afghanistan is a war of necessity

    As far as Jewish voters I saw somewhere that upwards of 60% don’t even consider Israel policy when casting their ballot. As a group they are more concerned with social, justice and issues of that ilk.

  6. Obama was wrong with Afganistan and how he handles Israel. The problem is Mitt would be the same……screw them both.

  7. Don’t we just love to eat our own!!! A reminder to all, President Obama inherited two botched wars; one created to show “daddy” he could get Saddam; a second to get Bin Laden and al qaeda; a middle East conflict (hot & cold) that’s been continuing since 1948 and let’s not forget the “neo-cons” continual drumbeat for Israel to “bomb, bomb, Iran”. We’re well on our way to be out of Iraq and a program set in place for the other. Is it fast enough for me, hell no, but give the guy a break, he’s done more for achieving peace in the last decade than anyone else!! If the President falls in Florida it’s our own damn fault!