The younger sailors definitely seem to favor Obama, simply because they don't want to wind up in four more years of war.
That they do. We're all over and done with it. While the war affects the Army and Marine Corps more, there are still sailors who are sent out on individual augmentee assignments. The younger sailors, and the younger voting population as a whole (from what I've seen in my contacts around town - I live in Tidewater as well) seem to favor Obama, mainly on premise of ending the war.
There are those of us though, who are leery about having a democrat in office. Through all the crap and bs that has occured with the Bush administration, and even with this annoying war we're still in, there have been some major benefit changes to the military and military families. Because of Bush, our housing allowance has greatly improved, keeping up with rising housing costs instead of constantly going down and forcing us to live in lower and lower standards. Though they tend to not amount to more than a few hundred dollars a year, yearly raises have been consistent. Those are just a couple of things that have occurred over the past eight years, among the many. I've talked to some sailors who served during the Clinton Administration, my roommate included. They are wondering about whether these benefits will continue, or if things will be changed again. The policies Bush has put into effect, especially regarding our pay, are not open ended.
I have noticed that the black population does tend to gravitate more toward Obama, regardless of what he says. Personally, I could care less what a politician's race is. As supposedly 'the greatest country in the world', such a thing shouldn't matter. However it does. Not only have I seen race be an issue among the less educated and poorer communities, but I have seen staunch debates on the topic from the well educated and wealthy as well. Prejudice knows no financial nor educational boundaries.
Do I feel this country is ready for Obama, or any other candidate who isn't Caucasian? Sadly, I do not. As glad as I am to see Bush's term in power come to an end, I am wary of moving forward. I fear turmoil ahead, regardless of who is elected.