As with previous Military Times surveys the respondents in 2008 were disproportionately white, male and officers. The actual Army population is about 85% male, 14% regular commissioned officers (not including Warrant Officers), and 60% white. The active-duty members of the Army who responded to the Military Times poll were 90% male, 45% regular commissioned officers, and 71% white. Furthermore, the Army's junior enlisted ranks are dramatically underrepresented in the Military Times surveys. About 47% of the Army serves in the ranks of E-1 through E-4. These ranks comprise only 6% of the active Army population included in the 2008 Military Times survey. (The samples of each of the previous Military Times surveys are nearly identical in the degree to which they represent the active military population). Bottom Line: these surveys should in no way be used to assess aggregate attitudes across the force.
And it is worth noting that contributions to McCain and Obama from military members are about even. Further, from the New York Times story on military contributions (17 October):
The report also shows that Mr. Obama also is ahead of Mr. McCain in military donors with overseas addresses, both those working for the Department of Defense as well as members of the uniformed services. A total of $74,650 came in for Mr. Obama from those posted overseas to $16,600 for Mr. McCain.
The military just might have more Obama supporters than you think.