Veterans Usually Vote Strongly Republican, But Polls Suggest That May Change This Year
Speaker 1: 00:00 Veterans traditionally are more likely to vote for Republican candidates, but polls suggest their support for president. Trump has eroded Jay price reports for the American Homefront project Speaker 2: 00:11 In a poll released this week. 52% of veterans said they would vote for president Trump while 42% back to former vice president, Joe Biden, others favorite a third party candidate or planned not to vote. The poll was by military times and the Institute for veterans and military families at Syracuse university, where Rosa Linda Mari is director of applied research and analytics. Speaker 3: 00:35 I've never seen this Klaus in previous Speaker 2: 00:38 Years in 2016, 60% of veterans who voted pig Trump, according to exit polling and the new poll older vets still had a clear preference for him while younger veterans, female and minority veterans and former officers favored Biden Speaker 3: 00:55 Populations. Speaker 2: 00:57 59% of those over the age of 54 said they were backing the president. This includes people like Gary akin, a 71 year old Vietnam veteran from the North Carolina mountain community of Swana Noah who owns a small sign in graphic design company. Speaker 4: 01:12 The veterans that I know I interact with are basically saying that they're going to vote for Trump. Speaker 2: 01:18 He can set, he can't imagine not voting for Trump in part because he feels the VA healthcare system has improved Speaker 4: 01:24 Also the economy. And I think for me personally, it has to do with the America that I knew growing up versus, you know, the American that Biden and some of his cronies, even vision, which is certainly not what I would want for my grandkids, Speaker 2: 01:41 But Trump's volatile behavior. And his series of controversial comments about veterans and service members. Haven't played well with many younger veterans, including former Navy seal. Dan Barkov now an emergency room doctor in Vermont. Speaker 3: 01:54 I have many issues with Trump, but the thing that started it all was just the dishonesty Speaker 2: 01:59 Mark off who described himself as a conservative, compared Trump to another president. Speaker 3: 02:03 I was in the Naval Academy when Clinton was the commander in chief and Monica Lewinsky and all that kind of stuff. And I didn't like that either. You know, that the murmuring in the rent so to speak was that, you know, Clinton's this dishonest liar. And there were all these arguments made by, by people who were still in politics, frankly, that, you know, you can't have a commander in chief who's dishonest with the troops and supposed to lead Speaker 2: 02:26 Co founded a group called veterans for responsible leadership to, in some sense, persuade other veterans that it was okay not to vote for Trump. And he agreed to record some beer knuckle ads for the Lincoln project, the Republican anti-Trump group that specializes in ads like this and goading the president. Speaker 1: 02:44 I'm a pro-life and kind of owning combat veteran. And I can see Trump for what he is a coward. We need to send this draft Dodger back to his golf courses. The lives of our troops depends Speaker 2: 02:55 The new poll follows an apparent trend, a poll this by the same groups found a slight edge for Biden among active duty troops and another recent poll of veterans by morning consult yielded a similar result. The contentious campaign has also spurred non-partisan activism among veterans, Afghanistan, veteran and digital media CEO. Greg Berman has joined forces with 10 other high profile veterans to promote voting. He says they were disturbed by our widespread voter suppression efforts and felt it was an extension of their military service to fight that Speaker 5: 03:31 None of us took any pleasure in having to do this. It's the last thing we want it to do. We want it to feel like every leader was doing its part during a high stakes time for our country to stand by what it means to have a free, fair and safe election. But feeling like that was under threat and feeling like the lights were blinking red, it felt really important just to say, Hey, you know, we have a stake in this. And we have a perspective that we think is worth sharing. Speaker 2: 03:55 Some in his group are liberal. Others are conservative, but he says the point isn't who to vote for it's that everyone should be allowed to vote in chapel Hill, North Carolina, I'm Jay price. Speaker 6: 04:07 This story was produced by the American Homefront project, a public media collaboration that reports on American military life and veterans funding comes from the corporation for public broadcasting.