By Kristina Wong - 03/15/16 10:34 AM EDT
Troops favor Donald TrumpDonald TrumpPoll: Trump up by 2 points in Florida Senior House Republicans fighting for their lives GOP vulnerables dial back Hillary attacks MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWhite House contest casts shadow over mega-merger Fed pressures Congress to spend Warren’s power on the rise MORE (I-Vt.) as the next commander in chief, according to a new survey by Military Times.
Trump took first place, with 27 percent of troops surveyed in a poll of 931 active-duty troops, reservists and members of the National Guard.
The results, while unscientific, offer a snapshot of military voting preferences, the Times said in a report. About 64 percent of respondents identified as enlisted personnel, and 36 percent identified as officers. The survey was conducted March 9-14.
Support for Trump comes despite a backlash from retired military leaders blasting the business mogul for calling for torture of terrorists and other practices that go against the Geneva Conventions.
Several dozen respondents did, however, call Trump dangerous for the military and the country in a comments section, and three said they'd leave the service if he becomes commander in chief.
Meanwhile, Sanders has been attacked by critics for having weak foreign policy credentials, especially compared to Clinton.
However, Sanders won a big veteran endorsement from one of two female combat veterans in the House, Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardLawmakers press Lynch for briefing on Yahoo secret email scanning reports Saudi skeptics gain strength in Congress Lawmakers seek answers on Pentagon employees' casino, strip club charges MORE (D-Hawaii), last month. And the Vermont senator sits on and has also chaired the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee.
Sanders has repeatedly voiced his vote against the Iraq War in 2002 as evidence of solid judgment, while attacking Clinton for her support for the war.
Sen. Marco RubioMarco RubioPoll: Trump up by 2 points in Florida GOP vulnerables dial back Hillary attacks The Trail 2016: An important lesson in geography MORE (R-Fla.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Intelligence committees who has made national security a centerpiece of his campaign, was second to last in the poll, after Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R). Rubio garnered only 9 percent support.
About a third of respondents did not affiliate with either Republican or Democratic parties. Sanders ranked more popular among that group.
Among officers, Trump led but by a much smaller margin — 21 percent. Cruz came in second with 18 percent, Sanders at 16 percent and Clinton at 15 percent.
Retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, who is revered among troops, received one write-in vote, despite last summer batting down any speculation he would be interested in running.