The role of previous military service in American electoral politics
A recurring feature of American elections is previous military service, for both candidates and the electorate. Despite a strict tradition of civilian supremacy over the military, the US exhibits a recurring magnetism toward leaders with martial pedigree. In the electorate, civilian veterans are an oft-cited voting bloc in primary and general elections with uncertain impact, often garnering direct appeals from candidates and media attention. This dissertation consists of chapters dealing with the intersection of military service and politics in its manifestations across different arenas of electoral competition: the use of previous military service by presidential and congressional campaigns, and in the electorate by measuring, analyzing, and explaining veterans’ electorate turnout, political attitudes, vote choices, and partisan preferences. Keywords: military veterans, political participation, voting, cohort analysis, turnout, public opinion, presidential campaigns, congressional campaigns, interest groups.