Libertarian nominee top choice among veterans

Libertarian nominee top choice among veterans
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Libertarian presidential nominee Gary JohnsonGary Earl JohnsonTrump challenger: 'All bets are off' if I win New Hampshire primary Scaramucci assembling team of former Cabinet members to speak out against Trump Progressive Democrats' turnout plans simply don't add up MORE is the top choice of respondents in the most recent polling of the military community.  

Johnson was preferred by 37 percent of respondents, which include active-duty, retired and former members of the military, as well as their family members. 

Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSupreme Court comes to Trump's aid on immigration Trump is failing on trade policy Trump holds call with Netanyahu to discuss possible US-Israel defense treaty MORE came in second, at 30 percent, and Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham Clinton2020 is not a family affair, for a change New York Democrat pens op-ed on why he opposes impeaching Trump Rob Zombie on canceling 'The Hunt': 'A bulls–-- sacrificial lamb that solves nothing in society' MORE came in third, at 24 percent.  

Johnson's strong showing in the latest poll comes despite controversy over the former New Mexico governor questioning what Aleppo was during an MSNBC interview on Sept. 8. 

"And what is Aleppo?" Johnson had asked in response to a question over what he would do about the war-torn Syrian city as president, shocking MSNBC hosts. 

Johnson then responded that he thought Aleppo was an acronym, and he thought the U.S. should cooperate with Russia in Syria to bring the civil war to a diplomatic end and not involve the U.S. militarily. He later said he had "blanked."

Former Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersYoung insurgents aren't rushing to Kennedy's side in Markey fight Biden's debate performance renews questions of health Saagar Enjeti rips Harris's 'empty promises' MORE (I-Vt.), third-party presidential candidate Evan McMullin, retired Marine Gen. James Mattis and Sen. Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeFlake donates to Democratic sheriff being challenged by Arpaio in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says US-China trade talks to resume, hails potential trade with Japan, UK Joe Arpaio to run for Maricopa County sheriff in 2020  MORE (R-Ariz.) received write-in votes in the new poll. 

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The online poll of 1,399 people — released Monday by We Are The Mighty, Doctrine Man, Military OneClick and Got Your 6 — was conducted between Sept. 7 and Sept. 10 via SurveyMonkey. The poll has a margin of error of 3 percentage points. 

Johnson has garnered strong support from the military in previous surveys — taking 39 percent among active-duty respondents in a Doctrine Man poll conducted in July, and 13 percent in a Military Times poll earlier that month. 

In fact, polls in recent years say troops are becoming increasingly libertarian. 

A 2014 Military Times survey showed that the number of troops who identified themselves as Republican was dropping, while those identifying themselves as libertarian or independent was rising.

In 2012, the presidential campaign of then-Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), a staunch libertarian, took in more than four times the donations from individual active-duty military voters and Pentagon employees than the three other Republican candidates combined, according to one report.

Johnson has pledged to balance the budget, cut military spending by 43 percent down to 2003 levels and reduce the U.S. nuclear arsenal. 

Thousands of veterans had called for Johnson to appear at a recent forum hosted by MSNBC and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). 

Although Johnson did not appear at the forum, the IAVA has since reached out to his campaign and has promised to hold a separate event with Johnson.