(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – While it's expected that former Navy captain John McCain will garner most of the military vote in November, his campaign is not leaving anything to chance. The Republican candidate will address the 130th annual National Guard conference in Baltimore this afternoon, the day before Democratic vice presidential hopeful Joe Biden also speaks at the conference.
Of the nearly 300,000 U.S troops serving overseas, almost 20% of them are members of the National Guard. That's a lot of votes in what will most likely be a very tight election.
"The candidates are well aware of the Guard's contributions, and they know the Guard will be critical in the years ahead," said retired Brig. Gen. Stephen M. Koper, president of the National Guard Association of the United States.
"But the candidates are coming to Baltimore because they also know that Guardsmen vote, many are opinion leaders in their local communities and the best way to reach them is the NGAUS conference."