A new poll of U.S. military veterans found 52 percent of veterans said they had voted for or planned to vote for President Donald Trump, while 42 percent said they had voted for or were planning to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump loses favor in younger age groups, however.
The poll, conducted by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, was conducted between Oct. 1 and Oct. 13, and surveyed more than than 1,700 veterans whose prior service has been verified by Military Times. The poll found veterans 55 and older were more likely to support Trump, but that a significant percent of younger voters preferred Biden.
Trump’s lead among veterans was stronger among veterans 55 or older, where 59 percent of respondents in that group said they were supporting Trump while 38 percent said they were supporting Biden.
Veterans between the age of 34 and 54 were the most likely to oppose Trump. Among that age group, 51 percent said they were supporting Biden, while 40 percent said they were supporting Trump.
Among veterans under 34, the majority opposed Trump, but less strongly than the 34-54 age group. 46 percent of veterans under 34 said they were supporting Biden, while 42 percent said they were supporting Trump.
Veterans 55 or older listed immigration and Supreme Court appointments among their top issues, while younger veterans listed healthcare and racial inequality as among their top issues.
IVMF’s polls overall results of support for Trump and Biden were similat to the results of another recent Morning Consult Poll of 2,700 military and veteran voters, which also found 52 percent of veterans supported Trump and 42 percent supported Biden.
Trump’s poll numbers among veterans in this latest poll were stronger than his poll numbers among active-duty military members questioned in a separate poll also conducted by IVMF between July 27 and Aug. 10 of this year. Among 1,018 active-duty respondents, Trump trailed Biden in overall support, with Biden receiving 41 percent support to Trump’s 37 percent. That poll found more career-oriented military members had stronger disfavorable views of Trump than junior enlisted members.
The latest IVMF poll showed Trump’s support among military veterans has fallen since he took office. Trump reportedly had about 60 percent support among veterans in 2016 when he faced Hillary Clinton, who had about 34 percent support.
Women and minority veterans also viewed Trump more negatively.
59 percent of women veteran respondents expressed support for Biden, while 34 percent supported Trump.
52 percent of minority veteran respondents expressed support for Biden, while 39 percent supported Trump.
In terms of confidence in each candidate’s leadership, 38 percent of men and 24 percent of women said they were completely confident in Trump, 15 percent of men and 13 percent of women were mostly confident in Trump, seven percent of men were and five percent of women were somewhat confident in Trump and 39 percent and 58 percent of women were not at all confident in Trump.
22 percent of men and 34 percent of women were completely confident in Biden, 18 percent of men and 22 percent of women were mostly confident in Biden, 15 percent of men and 10 percent of women were somewhat confident in Biden and 44 percent of men and 32 percent of women were not at all confident in Biden.
Respondents in IVMF’s poll of veterans gave Trump higher marks in terms of understanding the needs of the military and understanding the needs of veterans. About a third of respondents reportedly rated Trump’s grasp of these issues as excellent.
Biden scored higher marks in terms of “respect for troops and veterans” and honesty. More than half of respondents rated Trump as “poor” in terms of honesty.
Rating the overall election cycle, almost 77 percent of respondents said national security has received too little focus in the election. 73 percent said military quality of life issues had also received too little focus and 72 percent said the same about veterans issues.