As we at LI, like everyone else on both sides of the aisle, absorb the likelihood of a Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton face-off in November, the Military Times conducted its own survey of active-duty military personnel and learned that those in the military, if faced with the choice between Trump and Hillary, choose Trump by a wide margin.

Disturbing to the Trump camp, however, is the fact that “more than one in five” of those military members surveyed may not cast a vote for president at all in November if Trump and Hillary are the only two choices and that Trump’s troubles with women voters extends to females in the military.

The Military Times reports:

In a new survey of American military personnel, Donald Trump emerged as active-duty service members’ preference to become the next U.S. president, topping Hillary Clinton by more than a 2-to-1 margin. However, in the latest Military Times election survey, more than one in five troops said they’d rather not vote in November if they have to choose between just those two candidates.

But given only those choices, 21 percent of the service members surveyed said they would abstain from voting.More than 54 percent of the 951 troops Military Times surveyed said they would vote for Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, over Clinton, the Democratic front-runner. Only about 25 percent said they would vote for Clinton in that matchup.

Here’s the Military Times graphic (via the above link):

Trump fared better among military members against Bernie Sanders in a head-to-head matchup, as well.

The Military Times continues:

Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders fared slightly better than Clinton in a similar head-to-head matchup with Trump, but still trailed the reality TV star and business mogul by a 51 percent to 38 percent margin. About one in 10 military members said they would not vote at all given those two candidates.

Interestingly, the active-duty military respondents were overwhelming Republican (over 50%) and only nominally Democrats (18%).

In the latest survey, nearly half of respondents identified as Republicans, and only 18 percent as Democrats. That partisan divide accounted for much of Trump’s support.

Democrats overwhelmingly favored Clinton (72 percent to 8 percent) and Republicans overwhelmingly supported Trump (82 percent to 6 percent). Troops who identified as independents slightly favored Trump, by a 40 percent to 32 percent margin.

This Military Times poll also reflects Trump’s well-known problem with American women voters:  “Female troops favored Clinton over Trump, by a 51 percent to 24 percent margin. Male troops backed Trump over Clinton 57 percent to 22 percent.”

One complaint highlighted by the survey was, among other concerns, the two candidates’ lack of understanding of the military.

The Military Times explains:

In anecdotal comments connected to the survey, several survey respondents called the options for president frustrating and disappointing:

  • “Weakest field of my adult life.”
  • “Absolutely disgusted by this election cycle.”
  • “It’s a lose/lose situation no matter what.”
  • “They all suck.”

Dozens also noted plans to vote for a third-party candidate, citing their dissatisfaction with the major party choices.

“The candidates left just don’t understand the military,” said Army Capt. Christian Pardo, who said he would not vote for any of the major party candidates left. “The military perspective on some of their policies are just so far out there.”

Pardo said he wishes a candidate with military experience was still left in the race. He’ll be considering third-party candidates in the fall, “but if none appeal to me, I may just stay home.”

The breakdown of the various military branches’ responses is interesting (to me, anyway).  Again from the Military Times:


Of the 951 respondents to the email survey, “nearly half of respondents identified as Republicans, and only 18 percent as Democrats. That partisan divide accounted for much of Trump’s support.”

The methodology of this survey is a bit different than that of traditional polling outlets, so you may be interested in reading about that here.

[Featured image via the Sun Sentinel]


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