Six new veterans were elected to the House of Representatives in November 2008. They include three Democrats - John Boccieri (Ohio, Air Force Reserve, four overseas deployments), Eric Massa (N.Y. Navy vet of Beirut, Kosovo and 1991 Persian Gulf), and Gary Peters (Mich., former Navy Reserve) and three Republicans - Mike Coffman (Colo., Marine Corps/Army retiree), Steve Stivers (Ohio, Army National Guard, Iraq), and Duncan D. Hunter (Marine vet of Afghanistan and Iraq).
Three other vets who supported Operation Enduring Freedom but were not actually in Afghanistan were re-elected to the House of Representatives. Chris Carney (D-Pa.), Joe Sestak (D-PA.), and Tim Walz (D-Minn.). Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), an Army lawyer in Iraq, also was re-elected.
The percentage of veterans in the House of Representatives now stands at about 20%. Veterans in the House peaked in 1969 through 1970 with the percentages at House (74%), Senate (78%).
According to the National Election Pool exit poll, 15% of all voters were veterans. 54% voted for Senator John McCain, The Military Postal Service Agency returned 519,032 overseas absentee ballots by Election Day, 2.5 times the number in 2004. According to the Military Times, military personnel voted "strongly in favor of Sen. John McCain." Its pre-election poll showed 68% favoring the Arizona senator.
Ironically, only 10% of voters cited the Iraq War as their top issue of concern during the election, revealed a Pew Research Center survey. One year before, that percentage was 33%, acording to a Gallop Poll. Once success took root in Iraq, the economy eclipsed the war.