- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Donald Trump and Bernard Sanders are the top choices for commander in chief among U.S. military personnel, according to a survey conducted by Military Times.

The Republican front-runner was the top choice of the 931 active-duty troops, reservists and National Guard members to participate in the unscientific survey, with 27 percent support.

Mr. Sanders, the Vermont senator and Democratic socialist was a close second, garnering 22 percent support.

Outsider candidates’ messages are resonating with individuals in uniform,” write Leo Shane III and George R. Altmen, Capitol Hill bureau chief and senior writer for Military Times.

“The data suggest that military personnel have not been dissuaded by political rivals who contend Trump and Sanders have weak foreign policy credentials and don’t have recognized experts as national security advisers. Nearly half of the service members surveyed also said they were unhappy with the discussion of national security issues in the presidential race so far,” the pair note.

Both finished well ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz (17 percent), Hillary Clinton (11 percent), Sen. Marco Rubio (9 percent) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich (8 percent).

The Military Times sent emails to 59,000 service members soliciting opinions of the presidential candidates, of which, 931 troops responded.

Of the participants, 64 percent are enlisted personnel and 36 percent are officers.

See below for a detailed look at support by each military branch.

⦁ 27 percent of U.S. military troops back Donald Trump for president; 31 percent of Army respondents, 24 percent of Navy, 31 percent of Marine Corps and 22 percent of Air Force respondents agree.

⦁ 22 percent overall favor Sen. Bernard Sanders; 17 percent of Army, 30 percent of Navy, 16 percent of Marine, 25 percent of Air Force also agree.

⦁ 17 percent overall favor Sen. Ted Cruz; 16 percent Army, 13 percent Navy, 16 percent Marine, 21 percent Air Force agree.

⦁ 11 percent overall favor Hillary Clinton; 13 percent Army, 13 percent Navy, 7 percent Marine, 10 percent Air Force agree.

⦁ 9 percent overall favor Sen. Marco Rubio; 10 percent Army, 8 percent Navy, 11 percent Marine, 9 percent Air Force agree.

⦁ 8 percent overall favor Gov. John Kasich; 9 percent Army, 8 percent navy, 8 percent Marine, 6 percent Air Force agree.




• Jennifer Harper can be reached at jharper@washingtontimes.com.

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