Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson is tied with Republican nominee Donald Trump among U.S. military personnel, a Military Times poll reveals.
The poll queried over 2,000 active duty military personnel, with 36.5 percent of respondents supporting Johnson. Trump received 37.6 percent of support, which statistically ties him with Johnson when considering the 2 percent margin of error. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton only received 16.3 percent of the vote.
The poll was conducted the day after both Trump and Clinton appeared on NBC for a Commander in Chief forum Sept. 8, where they took questions from military veterans. The poll also happened immediately after Johnson appeared not to know what the Syrian city of Aleppo is on MSNBC show “Morning Joe.” The gaffe did nothing to temper the robust support he seems to have with the U.S. military.
Opinions clearly differed between the enlisted and officer ranks. Enlisted personnel only supported Clinton at 14 percent, while nearly 28 percent of military officers gave her their support. Among the services, the U.S. Marine Corps clearly supported Trump more than any other — 50.4 percent of U.S. Marines reported support for Trump.
The high third-party support among the military sharply contrasts to the general American electorate. RealClearPolitic’s polling average gives Johnson only 8.6 percent support among the general population — already a remarkably high number for a third-party candidate in a general election race.
“These are the worst two candidates we could possibly have,” one Army captain told Military Times while being polled. The captain’s distaste for Trump and Clinton mirror the high unfavorable ratings of both candidates, revealed within the survey.
Sixty-eight percent of respondents described Trump’s temprament as poor, and nearly 87 percent expressed the same amount of distaste with Clinton’s trustworthiness.
“We’re all doomed to have a president that the majority of the nation disapproves of, one way or another,” an Army sergeant lamented while being polled.
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