US Veterans Love Trump Way More Than The Broader Public, New Survey Shows

DoD photo by EJ Hersom

While President Donald Trump’s job approval rating among the overall American public has dipped to a historic low since he took office in January, he continues to enjoy solid support from veterans of all generations, according to a new survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel.

The survey, published May 26, found that 54% of people who had served in the U.S. military at any time approved of Trump’s job performance in April. That’s 15 percentage points higher than the overall public’s Trump approval rating of 39% for that month.

A series of surveys conducted by Gallup that measure Trump’s job approval rating found that he averaged 41% during his first quarter as president. The previous record low for a post-World War II president was held by Bill Clinton, who averaged 55% at the same point in his presidency. The record high, 74%, was set by John F. Kennedy. The average for all post-World War II presidents is 61%.

A separate NBC News analysis of Gallup data on June 4 suggested that Trump’s support in “military post counties” — the communities that neighbor U.S. military bases — had dropped precipitously in May. According to that analysis, military communities that backed Trump by a 51% approval to 41% disapproval margin in the president’s first hundred days had flip-flopped completely, with only 43% now approving and 53% now disapproving of the president. Such results have yet to emerge in other polling data like Pew’s, however.

Pew partly attributes Trump’s high job approval ratings among veterans to demographics, which deviate from the general U.S. population in a few key areas. “Veterans are more likely to be male, white and older,” Pew reports. “[Those are] all demographics in which support for Trump tends to be higher.”

Ninety-two percent of veterans are male and 8% are female, according to Census Bureau data from 2015. That’s a dramatic contrast to the gender breakdown among all U.S. adults, which sits at 48% male and 52% female. Veterans also tend to be older — nearly half (49%) are 65 years or older, while that age group represents only 19% of the general U.S. population. And 78% of veterans are white, compared with 65% for all U.S. adults.

The survey also found that veterans continue to be more conservative, with a majority (56%) either identifying as Republican or leaning toward the GOP, while 40% identify as Democrats or lean toward that party. For all U.S. adults, those numbers look almost the opposite: 43% identify as Republican or leaning toward the GOP, and 54% identify as or lean Democratic.

“This statistical analysis confirms that even accounting for demographic factors such as age, gender and education,” Pew writes, “being a veteran is associated with higher levels of partisan identification with the GOP.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs paid $13,000 over a three-month period for a senior official's biweekly commute to Washington from his home in California, according to expense reports obtained by ProPublica.

Read More Show Less
Saturday Night Live/screenshot

President Donald Trump said that "retribution" should be "looked into" after this week's opening skit of Saturday Night Live featured Alec Baldwin being mean to him again.

Read More Show Less
Staff Sgt. John Eller conducts pre-flights check on his C-17 Globemaster III Jan. 3 prior to taking off from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii for a local area training mission. Sgt. Eller is a loadmaster from the 535th Airlift Squadron. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Shane A. Cuomo)

CUCUTA, Colombia — The Trump administration ratcheted up pressure Saturday on beleaguered Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, dispatching U.S. military planes filled with humanitarian aid to this city on the Venezuelan border.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan speaks at the annual Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany February 15, 2019. REUTERS/Andreas Gebert

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said on Saturday he had not yet determined whether a border wall with Mexico was a military necessity or how much Pentagon money would be used.

President Donald Trump on Friday declared a national emergency in a bid to fund his promised wall at the U.S.-Mexico border without congressional approval.

Read More Show Less
A pair of U.S. Navy Grumman F-14A Tomcat aircraft from Fighter Squadron VF-211 Fighting Checkmates in flight over Iraq in 2003/Department of Defense

Since the sequel to the 1986 action flick (and wildly successful Navy recruitment tool) Top Gun, was announced, there's been a lot of speculation on what Top Gun: Maverick will be about when it premieres in June 2020. While the plot is still relatively unclear, we know Tom Cruise will reprise his role as Naval aviator Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and he'll be joined by a recognizable costar: The iconic F-14 Tomcat.

It looks like the old war plane will be coming out of retirement for more than just a cameo. A number of recently surfaced photos show an F-14 Tomcat aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, alongside Cruise and members of the film's production crew, the Drive's Tyler Rogoway first reported earlier this week.

Read More Show Less