Bear in mind that this is from a Politico article, and they offer nothing to quantify their assertion, but I found this idea interesting:
The anti-war stance, the sharp criticism of the war on terrorism, the calls to rein in military spending — all of it is fueling Paul’s support among the young voters who throng his events, and among independents and Democrats.
In a historically dovish state, with a crowded contest uniquely suited to a candidate with a fervent base of support, it’s a model that can work. But beyond Iowa’s borders, in a hawkish party that has traditionally embraced a muscular military role and recently criticized President Barack Obama for his alleged timidity, it’s a different story.
The area I live in (western New York) is on the border between the midwest and the northeast.
My own local teahadists like Lee Greenwood as much as the next group of wingers, but my local Republican Congressmen weren’t that pro-Iraq War as a group. Amo Houghton voted against the war resolution, Jim Walsh joined Democrats in voting for troop draw-downs after the 2006 election, Randy Kuhl (who came into office after the Iraq War started) claimed he doesn’t know how he would have voted on the Iraq War resolution.
I suspect that Iowa Republicans are far to the right of western New York Republicans on pretty much everything, but I’d be curious to know how much of war-mongerism is regional.
Also too, I don’t find it that surprising that Paul gets so much support from people in the military. I suspect a lot of them don’t like getting sent off to fight in boondoggle wars.