Things Get Even Worse For Republicans As Veterans Dump Donald Trump

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Donald Trump is now losing ground with veterans. They were his only hope, if ever he had one.

After praising Saddam Hussein, accusing U.S. troops of stealing “millions and millions” in Iraq, calling our military a disaster, and falsely bragging that he had donated $6 million to veterans, Trump was fine with veterans. But the Republican presidential nominee has finally found the straw that broke the camels back by attacking a Gold Star family – Khizr and Ghazala Khan, parents of fallen warrior Captain Khan, who died in 2004. Donald Trump has sagging numbers with veterans in a Fox News poll.

Thirty-nine percent of veterans would vote for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine if the 2016 election were held “today” (the day they answered the poll, July 31-August 2, 2016) and 53% would vote for Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

Yes, 53% is bigger than 39% but this is a constituency that Republicans have always counted on and Trump needs them more than ever because he has alienated women, Latinos, Muslims, African Americans, — well, pretty much everyone except white men, which I find odd given his history of not paying workers – i.e., harming the working class to which many of these white men belong, but there it is. The facts don’t always make sense.

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Back in May of 2012, we had Mitt Romney at 58% with veterans, a large bump above Barack Obama who was at 34%.

Granted national polling is dubious at this point and military polling is even more complicated due to vast disparities between officers, troops, and veterans. For example, in May of 2016, the Military Times found active duty troops support Donald Trump by huge margins of 54-25 over Hillary Clinton.

But this drop in support from veterans for Donald Trump is still noteworthy, and here’s a few reasons why.

– A full 69% said Trump’s response to Khan was out of bounds.

– Sixty percent of veterans think Hillary Clinton has the knowledge to serve as president, while 39% say no and 1% aren’t sure. Just 52% say Trump has the knowledge and 47% say he doesn’t, with 1% unsure. So on the issue of knowledge, Trump is lagging behind Clinton with veterans.

– Fifty-five percent of veterans say Donald Trump doesn’t have the temperament to be president. Just 45% think he does.

All is not horrid for Donald Trump, though bear in mind this poll ended on August 2 and that is the night that Donald Trump’s campaign spokesperson blamed President Obama for Captain Khans death in 2004, which demonstrated that the campaign didn’t even care enough to look at Khan’s most basic history before attacking him and even after attacking him and getting flack for it.

Demonstrating that the Republican game plan of accusing Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing and investigating her for years has paid off, even though she has repeatedly been found not guilty of intentional wrong doing even in Republican investigations — in the honest and trustworthy section, Clinton scores very low with just 29% saying she is and 70% saying she isn’t.

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With Trump, who lies so much the media is having a collective meltdown trying to keep up, it’s split 49% to 49%. How about that craziness? People trust a man who refuses to show them his taxes, pals up with Putin, and lies so much that no one dares guess what he will do or say next.

For comparison, if you’re thinking etch-a-sketch, Donald Trump doesn’t lie like Mitt Romney, who lied with purpose and strategy. Donald Trump lies because he seems to see the world the way he wants to at that moment, which means he says something different at every turn and believes what he’s saying even when it’s a far distance from reality.

Sad to say that it didn’t seem to matter much when Trump attacked Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and said he wasn’t a hero because he was captured, nor did it matter when Trump slyly avoided being called out for calling for privatization of the VA by suggesting he was going to offer veterans a “choice”, but this is the benefit of not having actual policies.

Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), a former Marine Corps officer, said of Trump’s VA privatization references, “You never really know what Donald Trump is saying, but he’s talked about privatizing the VA… We know from experience over the past decade that privatization doesn’t work. We know this because Republicans ran the VA Choice program. It’s been implemented and wait times have gone up.”

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With a scant few Republican leaders willing to stand up to Donald Trump, these numbers with veterans could get worse and not better. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) fell on this sword, refusing to un-endorse Trump even after the repugnant comments he’s made about the Khan family.

Although it’s worth noting that Representative Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) said of Trump’s behavior, “I’m an American before I’m a Republican… How can I support that?”

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