Survey: Troops favor Trump and Sanders

Survey: Troops favor Trump and Sanders
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Troops favor Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Anti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight MORE and Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersAnti-abortion Dem wins primary fight Lipinski holds slim lead in tough Illinois primary fight Overnight Defense: Senate sides with Trump on military role in Yemen | Dem vets push for new war authorization on Iraq anniversary | General says time isn't 'right' for space corps 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 Diane Rodham ClintonKoch-backed group launches six-figure ad buy against Heitkamp Trump keeps up 'low IQ' attack on Maxine Waters GOP leaders to Trump: Leave Mueller alone 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 GabbardCongress, leave no H-1Bs behind Top general: Countering Iran in Syria not a US military mission Hawaii reps call for hearing on missile alerts after false alarm 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 RubioRubio: McCabe 'should've been allowed to finish through the weekend' For Tillerson, bucking Trump became a job-killer At least six dead after pedestrian bridge collapses on cars in Florida 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 CruzCruz says Cambridge Analytica assured him its practices were legal Dem battling Cruz in Texas: ‘I can understand how people think this is crazy’ Overnight Tech: Facebook faces crisis over Cambridge Analytica data | Lawmakers demand answers | What to watch for next | Day one of AT&T's merger trial | Self-driving Uber car kills pedestrian 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.