A new survey of U.S. military service members reveals troops have one candidate in mind for president: Donald Trump.
The poll of 931 service members, conducted from March 9-14, spans from active-duty troops to reservists and National Guard members, although the findings are not scientific, Military Times reports.
Of survey respondents, 64% were enlisted and 36% said they were officers.
In total, 27% of troops listed GOP front-runner Donald Trump as their preferred candidate, with Democratic Sen.[score]Bernie Sanders[/score] following at 22%. GOP Sen. [score]Ted Cruz [/score]gained 17% of support, while the next in line is former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at 11.17%.
The data seem to indicate that the GOP national security establishment’s attempt to discredit Trump’s foreign policy credibility has failed — at least as far as service members are concerned.
Trump’s hardline stances on national security issues appear to have attracted dedicated support from members of the military, though several military officials have complained about his aggressive statements on torture and the killing of terrorists’ families, which Trump had to walk back.
Officers surveyed still favor Trump, albeit by a smaller margin than regular enlisted troops. Officers ranked Trump first with 21% support and Cruz second with 18%.
And even though Sanders has also been perceived as weak on foreign policy, that fact hasn’t hurt his polling numbers among service members.
Despite attempts by Sen. [score]Marco Rubio[/score] to prioritize foreign policy in his platform and despite the Republican national security establishment essentially throwing all of its might behind his campaign, he ranks second to last in the survey.
The numbers change slightly when broken down by service. The Army and Marine Corps exhibit the highest levels of support for Trump, 30.95% and 30.70%. In the Navy, however, Sanders takes the lead at 29.25% to Trump’s 23.58%. The same pattern holds true for the Air Force, where Sanders brought in 24.71% and Trump 22.35%.
This report, by Jonah Bennett, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.