Further, Trump can thank veterans for his 2016 victory over Hillary Clinton. According to the CCES study of verified 2016 voters, he won veterans and active military members by a 27-point margin over the Democratic nominee.
This was a huge deal for Trump because active military and veterans make up about 12% of voters. To give you some perspective, that’s a slightly higher proportion of the electorate than Hispanic voters (some of whom are or were part of the armed forces) and just a hair less than 18-29 year-olds (again some of whom did or are currently serving in the military).
A look at the swing states reveals just how pivotal this bloc is. Trump won the six close swing states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by less than 4 points each. Without winning at least some of these states, Trump would have lost.
Trump lost among those who were not active or veteran voters in each of these six states. In other words, Trump would not be President right now if it were not for the military vote. In Florida, for example, Trump would have been defeated by a little less than 5 points without military voters. He actually won the state by 1 point.