Military Voters May Surprise in 2020
According to a recent Military Times poll, military voters increasingly disapprove of President Trump. In the poll, more active duty service members indicated they’d vote for Joe Biden than for Donald Trump.
Trump’s campaign paints him as a strong leader on law and order. But his checkered past on military matters may drive away military voters. Biden, on the other hand, enjoys stronger military support than the average liberal, which could make military voting patterns in 2020 unusual.
Trump lacks credibility on law and order claims
President Trump has worked hard to establish his identity as a strong leader on matters of law and order. His support of the police and promotion of military intervention during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020 were a clear indicator of his stance on policing and the use of force in intervention.
However, many Americans see Trump as a weak leader where law and order are concerned. His inability to bring the country together during challenging times has led to discord and disorder. And his heavy-handed responses to social justice concerns and populace discontent have seemed tone-deaf and harsh.
Trump’s questionable record on military matters
Trump has not proved to be a strong leader for the US military.
He has famously said insensitive things about service members, including those within his circle. He has failed to defend soldiers abroad who were targeted by Russia-backed Taliban forces. And as a young man, he dodged the Vietnam War draft multiple times to avoid service.
For military men and women who are paying attention, Trump’s record on military matters doesn’t inspire support.
Solid military support for Biden
The Democratic Party isn’t typically seen as the preferred party for voters who have served in the military. But Biden is more appealing to military men and women than many other prominent liberals.
His son, Beau Biden, famously served in the military in Iraq. And while Joe Biden did not serve in the military himself, his record on military matters is positive. His respect for his son and other service members is clear in his speeches and his legislative background on defense matters is strong.
Though military voters are known to lean right in politics, 2020 could change the paradigm.