A majority of veterans approve of the way President Trump is handling his duties as commander in chief of the military, according to a new Pew Research Center poll published Wednesday.
The poll found that a majority – 57% – of veterans approve of Trump’s handling of the military, with about half at 48% saying his policies have made the military stronger. Forty-one percent of veterans said they disapproved and only 23% said they have made the military weaker.
The poll surveyed 1,284 U.S. military veterans and was conducted May 14-June 3, 2019 with a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
A majority of veterans — 64% — also said Trump respects veterans a “great deal” or a “fair amount,” versus the 38% who said Trump does not respect veterans much or at all. Older veterans were more likely than younger veterans to say Trump respects veterans a “great deal” — at 54% and 40%.
A majority of veterans — 58% — approve of Trump sending troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to deal with migrants coming to the U.S. Fifty-three percent approved of his withdrawing the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal, and 52% approved of his transgender policy.
The poll also showed that a majority of veterans approve of his handling of North Korea, NATO, and Russia.
However, a majority of veterans disapproved of creating the Space Force, at 53%, versus 45% who approved.
Veterans’ views of Trump differed widely between Republican and Democrat veterans.
An overwhelming 92% of veterans who are Republicans or lean Republican said they approved of how Trump is handling the military, as well as 6% of veterans who are Democrats or lean Democrat. Ninety-three percent of veterans who are Democrats or lean Democrat disapprove.
Of veterans who approve of Trump as commander in chief, there was no generational divide between veterans who served before 9/11 and after 9/11, Pew said.