Survey: Troops favor Trump and Sanders

Survey: Troops favor Trump and Sanders
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Troops favor Donald TrumpDonald TrumpDemocrats opposition to Trump will extend well beyond the boycott Trump team prepares dramatic cuts GOP recruitment goal: More women on ticket MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersFive takeaways from Pruitt's EPA hearing Overnight Energy: Trump's EPA pick faces Congress | 2016 is hottest year on record Five takeaways from Price's confirmation hearing 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.  

Sanders came in a close second at 22 percent, according to the poll published Tuesday. Meanwhile, Democratic front-runner Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonDemocrats opposition to Trump will extend well beyond the boycott Trump country Dem takes risk by skipping swearing-in Five things to watch for in Mnuchin hearing 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 GabbardOvernight Defense: Obama defends Manning commutation after backlash | Mattis clears Senate panel Gabbard makes secret trip to Syria Ten rumored Trump Cabinet picks who didn't get a job 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 RubioTop Dem: Don’t bring Tillerson floor vote if he doesn’t pass committee Booker to vote against Tillerson Rubio wades into Trump-Lewis feud 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 CruzTed CruzCaitlyn Jenner to attend Trump inauguration: report Trump’s UN pick threads needle on Russia, NATO Haley slams United Nations, echoing Trump 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.