Troops prefer Trump and even Johnson over Clinton: New poll

A new poll suggests that American troops are more likely to vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump or Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson than they are for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

According to the Military Times poll out Wednesday, the percentage of enlisted troops who said they would vote for Trump was 39.8 percent and 36.1 percent for Johnson. Clinton received just 14.1 percent support while Green Party candidate Jill Stein was 1.3 percent and write-in or other third party candidates were 3.2 percent. The poll also found 5.5 percent of the troops had no plans to vote.

Among officers, Johnson, the former New Mexico governor, has stronger support than both of the major party candidates. The poll found the percentage of military officers indicating they would support Johnson was 38.6 percent to Clinton's 27.9 percent and Trump's 26 percent. Stein, a physician and activist, received just 0.5 percent support, while write-in and other third-party candidates received 3.4 percent; the poll found 3.6 percent of officers would not vote.

More than 2,200 military personnel were surveyed by Military Times and Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families.

Overall, when including both active-duty troops and officers, the poll found billionaire Trump's support at 37.6 percent and Johnson at 36.5 percent. Clinton received 16.3 percent support, Stein 1.2 percent, and write-in and other third-party candidates another 3.2 percent; those indicating they had no plans to vote was 5.2 percent.

The Military Times said the polling "results showed strong distaste for Trump and Clinton alike." It said the poll respondents consisted of 85 percent male and 15 percent female, and listed the mean age at 29.

"More than 68 percent of respondents described Trump's temperament as poor," according to Military Times. "More than 87 percent said the same about Clinton's honesty and truthfulness. Only 18 percent rated Clinton's ability to handle national security as good or very good, and only 27 percent rated Trump's ability the same way."

By military branch, Trump's support is strongest among personnel in the Marine Corps followed by the Army, Air Force and Navy. At the same time, Johnson and Clinton's strongest support was from the Navy personnel.

The poll conducted Sept. 8-15 contrasts sharply with other national surveys showing Johnson lagging sharply behind Trump and Clinton.

On Sept. 8, Johnson stumbled during an MSNBC interview when he was asked about what he would do about Aleppo. "What is Aleppo?" the Libertarian Party nominee asked. The city in Syria has been the epicenter of the region's refugee crisis.