Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have made appeals to voters on foreign policy issues this week. The primary focus has been on plans to combat the Islamic State terror faction in the Middle East as well as its lone wolf cells across the globe. Trump’s plan has been analyzed by pundits as three-pronged: hold joint training missions with nations helping in the fight against ISIS, use U.S. intelligence officials to identify foreign nations with strong anti-West sentiment and halt immigration from them, and implement an “extreme vetting” process to prevent terrorists from infiltrating the U.S. immigration pathway. Hillary has called for increased ground forces to supplement the air raids on ISIS strongholds as well as a virtual campaign to combat their extremist ideology and rhetoric. Both, of course, have criticized the other, and they have left it to voters to decide who is best fit to take on serious foreign security threats.
Seeing that the discussion is highly relevant to military members and their loved ones, pundits are focusing on those voters. As of now, it appears that Trump is winning this battle. According to the latest NBC News poll, Trump is leading among military families by 10 percentage points – a substantial margin, given his trailing polling figures on a larger national scale. According to NBC News, this is slightly shocking, seeing that “the candidate generated considerable controversy with his feud with a "Gold Star" family that appeared at the Democratic National Convention.”
However, when viewed in context of previous election cycles, this is hardly surprising. Republican candidates tend to do much better among military families than do Democrats. Mitt Romney secured the veteran vote by a 20 point margin back in 2012, McCain by 10 in 2008, and Bush by 16 in 2004.
Breaking down the 10 percent lead, however, shows that Hillary is still maintaining the women vote. “Women from military households go for Clinton over Trump, 49 percent to 43 percent. The 6 point margin in Clinton's favor is narrowed from a 23 point margin among all women voters.” Additionally, Clinton maintains support among non-white voters from military families as well, as “black voters from military households support Clinton over Trump, 80 percent to 16 percent.”
Both parties make continuous appeals to veterans and military families, as they make up a substantial voting bloc and lobbying coalition. As such, it is possible that Hillary will make some late attempts to secure these voters before November. However, in the meantime, Trump seems to have this group locked in for his campaign.
What do you think about the fact that Trump is leading Hillary among military families? Will this be significant for the election?