The Aerospace Industries Association has budgeted $1.7 million separately for this year’s anti-sequestration campaign, including the rallies.
AIA argues that those efforts are showing some results: A recent survey it sponsored in five swing states, including Florida and Ohio, showed that 80 percent of people surveyed knew what sequestration was, and 77 percent believed it should be addressed before the election, according to AIA President Blakey.
But other polling suggests that the industry cannot count on much public support, particularly when programs such as Medicare -- the health program for the elderly -- are at stake.
In a recent Reuters-Ipsos poll, no more than 10 or 11 percent of the respondents said the nation could afford cuts to Social Security, Medicare, law enforcement and education.
But 34 percent agreed that defense could be cut.
The defense lobby has seen this all before, especially after the end of the Cold War. Defense spending has gone up and down repeatedly in the past hundred years, not so much with the relative clout of the industry in Washington, but as threats to the United States rise and fall.
No one expects that pattern to change, whatever happens with the budget this year or next.