Pentagon leaders and national security experts of every political stripe may question Donald Trump’s view on how and when to use U.S. military might, but a new survey found that the billionaire is the clear-cut favorite among active duty service members to be the next commander-in-chief.
Given the choice between Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 54 percent of troops said they would vote for the presumptive Republican nominee, according to an informal Military Times survey released on Monday.
Only 25 percent of the 951 active-duty troops surveyed said they would support Clinton, giving the former reality TV star a more than two-to-one advantage. Twenty-one percent said they would not vote at all if forced to pick between the two.
Trump also comes out on top in a hypothetical match-up with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), 51 percent to 38 percent. Only 11 percent of active duty members said they wouldn’t vote in that scenario.
Not surprisingly, today’s hyper-partisan politics have affected views among America’s soldiers as well, with those who identified themselves as Democrats overwhelmingly favoring Clinton, 72 percent to 8 percent, and Republicans backing Trump, 82 percent to 6 percent.
Troops who identified as independents favored Trump, a 40 percent to 32 percent – somewhat mirroring a trend from the GOP primary where independents flocked to the real estate mogul’s campaign.
Female troops overwhelmingly favored Clinton to Trump, 51 percent to 24 percent, while male troops backed Trump, 57 percent to 22 percent.
Officers were more inclined to support Clinton, but Trump remained well ahead of the former First Lady, 46 percent to 32 percent, and he annihilated her among enlisted, 58 percent to 21 percent.
The poll could very well find its way into Trump’s rambling, free-form stump speech, which often consists of him rattling off his latest poll numbers to the crowd – a practice he has continued even though he became the presumptive GOP nominee last week after his blowout victory in the Indiana primary.
The developer might want to hold off though, considering some of the comments several respondents provided when asked to describe their options for the Oval Office.
“They all suck,” wrote one.