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.
The results, while not a scientific sampling of military voting patterns (see our methodology below), show strong support for Trump among troops despite critics’ attacks that he lacks foreign policy or national security experience.
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.
Military personnel also demonstrated strong support for Trump in a Military Times reader survey conducted in March. Trump was the most popular candidate among the six presidential candidates remaining then, and the clear choice among Republican service members.
Read about the rest of the survey here.