Survey: Troops favor Trump and Sanders

Survey: Troops favor Trump and Sanders
© Getty Images

Troops favor Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersSchumer: Franken should resign Franken resignation could upend Minnesota races Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign 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.  

ADVERTISEMENT
Sanders came in a close second at 22 percent, according to the poll published Tuesday. Meanwhile, Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE received a little more than 11 percent support.

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 GabbardTulsi Gabbard is no snowflake Texas shooting puts scrutiny on military's criminal reporting system Overnight Defense: Details on 2 billion compromise defense bill | Space Corps dropped from bill | Mattis requests probe into Texas shooter's records 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 Antonio RubioRyan pledges 'entitlement reform' in 2018 Richard Gere welcomes lawmakers' words of support for Tibet Dem lawmaker gives McConnell's tax reform op-ed a failing grade 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. 

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzDebbie Wasserman Schultz marks 10 years as breast cancer survivor Foreign agent registration is no magical shield against Russian propaganda Let Trump be Trump and he'll sail through 2020 MORE (R-Texas) came in with 17 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.