A bonbon of data for all the Trump fans and/or McCain haters out there. The sample size is oh so small but let’s not let that discourage us on a Friday.
What makes those numbers even more amazing is that veterans are outliers on this. Among the wider public, McCain’s favorable rating is 40/45 while Trump’s is 34/60. You tell me: Why don’t vets prefer McCain, even as the lesser of two evils? One theory is that veterans tend to be conservative, which means they have many years of political grievances against ol’ Maverick piled up. If that were true, though, we should see McCain struggling among Republicans generally. We don’t. His favorable rating among GOPers is 57/36, slightly better than Trump’s at 57/39. Another theory: Maybe vets appreciate Trump for his fearlessness in being politically incorrect. McCain has incorporated most of the pieties of Beltway Republicans into his political persona. Trump hasn’t (yet). Veterans might respect the guy for going his own way no matter how much heat he takes for it. Or maybe this is simpler than all that — maybe, having watched America’s political class make a hash of foreign policy over the last 15 years, vets prefer someone who’s outside that class to someone who’s in it, even if the insider is a bona fide war hero. No one believes professional politicians anymore when they talk about making America great again. No one really believes Trump when he says it either, but at least he doesn’t have the stink of years of failure at the task on him.
Coincidentally, Trump announced the formation of “Veterans for Trump” in New Hampshire yesterday. Quote:
The Trump for President Veteran’s Coalition’s co-chairs are: Rep. Werner Horn of Franklin, Rep. Dan Tamburello of Londonderry, Rep. Joe Pitre of Farmington and Jerry Delemus of Rochester.
Dan Tamburello of the Marine Corps said, “I believe that Donald Trump has the leadership, the will, the courage, and the unabashed love-of country Americans so desperately crave in the White House. We have some very serious issues facing this country that are going to take a steely-eyed, proven, tough leader to overcome. Furthermore, should Mr. Trump find his way into the White House, he won’t owe anything to anyone except the American people. Mr. Trump is a Patriot who loves his country, the American people, and cares about America being respected and great again. I believe he has what it takes to restore the faith of America’s allies and be respected by our enemies once more.”
Trump leads the field overall with 28 percent, doubling up Jeb Bush, who’s at 14. (Trump has nearly doubled his own total of 15 percent measured on July 4-6.) The bad news, as noted above, is that his favorable rating among the broader electorate is terrible, especially among Latinos, where it now stands at 20/73. The good news for Republicans, contrary to what every GOPer in D.C. from John Boehner on down insists, is that the Latino vote won’t decide next year’s election. Whether that’s true in 2020, 2024, or 2028 is, of course, another question.