Did you see this?
According to a survey of 1800 active duty reported on in the Army Times, there has been a huge drop since 2004 among those serving who identify as Republican. Then? 60%. Now? 41%.
From 2008 to 2009 alone those surveyed identifying themselves as Republican dropped 9%. It's not as though they are identifying as Democrats - not yet anyway - most are unaffiliated or "independent."
This strikes me as a very significant development, and it makes perfect sense. Most of those who serve in uniform are young - shockingly young, and if you've travelled recently then you know what I mean - and the Republican Party has had a very hard time holding on to the youth vote. Current young people don't really seem to care about the old wedge issues of identity politics, and they are less likely to be afraid of otherness.
Also, since the the deception of Republican leadership has put those serving in harm's way for spurious, fabricated, and/or political reasons, they know first hand the cost of being Republican.
I can't imagine that the expansion of military benefits led by Democratic leaders has hurt, but I suspect that's secondary.
And I can't help but wonder, if the shift were in the other direction (from Democratic to unaffiliated), how much we'd be hearing about this? Do you think that some talking hairpieces over at Faux would actually explode flogging this news item?