A new survey of U.S. military servicemembers reveals troops have one candidate in mind for president: Donald Trump.
The poll of 931 servicemembers, conducted from March 9-14, spans from active-duty troops to reservists and National Guard members, although the findings are not scientific, Military Times reports.
Of survey respondents, 64 percent were enlisted and 36 percent said they were officers.
In total, 27 percent of troops listed GOP front-runner Donald Trump as their preferred candidate, with Democratic Sen. Bernie Sanders following closely behind at 22 percent. GOP Sen. [crscore]Ted Cruz[/crscore] gained 17 percent of support, while the next in line is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 11. 17 percent.
The data seems to indicate that the GOP national security establishment’s attempt to discredit Trump’s foreign policy credibility has failed — at least as far as servicemembers are concerned.
Trump’s hardline stances on national security issues appear to have attracted dedicated support from members of the military, though several military officials have complained about his aggressive statements on torture and the killing of terrorists’ families, which Trump had to walk back.
Officers surveyed still favor Trump, albeit by a smaller margin than regular enlisted troops. Officers ranked Trump first with 21 percent support and Cruz second with 18 percent.
And even though Sanders has also been perceived as weak on foreign policy, that fact hasn’t hurt his polling numbers among servicemembers.Despite Sen. [crscore]Marco Rubio[/crscore]’s attempts to prioritize foreign policy in his platform and despite the Republican national security establishment essentially throwing all of its might behind his campaign, he ranks second to last in the survey.
The numbers change slightly when broken down by service. The Army and Marine Corps exhibit the highest levels of support for Trump, 30.95 percent and 30.70 percent. In the Navy, however, Sanders takes the lead at 29.25 percent to Trump’s 23.58 percent. The same pattern holds true for the Air Force, where Sanders brought in 24.71 percent and Trump 22.35 percent.
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