Trump’s Popularity Declining Among Active Military Members

President Donald Trump’s popularity is declining among active members of the United States military, according to the latest Military Times poll.

“The results, collected before the political conventions earlier this month, appear to undercut claims from the president that his support among military members is strong thanks to big defense budget increases in recent years and promised moves to draw down troops from overseas conflict zones,” the outlet notes.

Based on polling data from 1,018 active-duty troops surveyed in late July and early August, 49.9 percent of active troops view the president unfavorably. 38 percent said they view the president favorably. 42 percent said they “strongly” disapprove of the president’s performance during his time in office.

That’s a significant slip from a poll conducted at the start of the president’s term, when 46 percent of troops viewed him favorably compared to 37 percent who viewed him unfavorably. A Military Times Poll conducted in late 2019 found that 49.9 percent viewed the president unfavorably (the same number as the latest poll). At the time of that poll, the percentage of those who viewed the president favorably was five points higher (42 percent).

41 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Democrat Joe Biden if the election was held today. 37 percent said they would support Trump. 13 percent said they plan to vote for a third-party candidate; nine percent said they do not plan to vote at all.

“It’s fair to say that Trump is not as popular as Republican nominees have been in the past among this group,” said Peter Feaver, a White House adviser to former President George W. Bush who now works as a political science professor at Duke University. “The bottom line is that in 2020, Trump can’t be claiming to have overwhelming support in the military.”