Global Politics

No talk of war on the campaign trail

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(Image by Flickr user theqspeaks (cc:by-nc-sa))

This story was originally reported by PRI's The World. For more, listen to the audio above.

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With just weeks left in the midterm elections, there's not much talk about the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. "I think obviously the economy dominates everything," political scientist Paul Beck at The Ohio State University, told PRI's The World. "There's tremendous unease about the economy, especially so in Ohio. Because Ohio has had much more deep-seated economic problems, and they've lasted much longer than has been true of the nation on the average."

In most elections, a candidate with military service would have a distinct advantage over other candidates. Ohio's Congressman John Boccieri, for example, played up his status as a veteran air force pilot while he was running for office two years ago. This year, talk of his military service has been largely absent from his stump speeches.

It's just that voters now see the wars differently, according to Beck. He says, "I think in this election, it's not very important. It's hard to differentiate between the parties actually in terms of Afghan policy."

Much of the talk throughout the election cycle has centered on the Tea Party. In Ohio, however, the Tea Party hasn't taken a position on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chris Littleton, who leads the Cincinnati Tea Party, told The World, "We tend to stay away from foreign policy stuff just because I think this is more of a domestic movement."

The domestic issues don't seem to include the fact that the nation is still at war.

PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston.