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Military Service Members Prefer 2 Presidential Candidates Who Question War

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 15/03/2016 Marina Fang
ATHENA IMAGE © Sean Rayford via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

Military service members favor two surprising presidential candidates among the six still campaigning.

According to a survey of about 1,000 members of the military conducted by the Military Times, 27 percent of respondents chose real estate mogul Donald Trump and 22 percent chose Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) when asked their favorite among the six candidates still in the race.

The survey, while not scientific, is interesting because Trump and Sanders have been critical of wars. On the campaign trail, Sanders often touts his early opposition to the war in Iraq and advocates for decreased military spending. 

Trump also has criticized the Iraq war, accusing former President George W. Bush of lying and slamming war hawks like his former presidential opponent, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

Rival candidates have jabbed both Trump and Sanders for not having strong foreign policy credentials. Trump has said that he gets some of his foreign policy advice from the Sunday talk shows.

One issue that may have tipped the scales in the survey is veterans' care. Sanders has garnered praise from veterans' groups for his commitment to reforming the VA system. Last year, as chair of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee, Sanders helped broker a bill to overhaul VA hospitals, which have been crippled by poor infrastructure and long waits for care.

Trump notoriously maligned Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), a prisoner of war for more than five years during the Vietnam War.

But Trump seems to have since changed his tune on U.S. troops, conducting campaign events with veterans that he invites to join him onstage, and encouraging supporters to donate money to the Wounded Warrior Project. He held a veterans-focused event while skipping a Fox News' GOP presidential debate, and reportedly tried to force CNN to donate money to veterans' causes in exchange for his appearance during a debate sponsored by that network. 

Read the full results of the Military Times survey here.

Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

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