Two News Reports on the Same Survey

“Military Times Survey: Troops Prefer Trump to Clinton by a Huge Margin”

Leo Shane III and George R. Altman

Military Times

May 10, 2016

In a new survey of American military personnel, Donald Trump emerged as active-duty service members’ preference to become the next U.S. president, topping Hillary Clinton by more than a 2-to-1 margin. However, in the latest Military Times election survey, more than one in five troops said they’d rather not vote in November if they have to choose between just those two candidates

But given only those choices, 21 percent of the service members surveyed said they would abstain from voting. More than 54 percent of the 951 troops Military Times surveyed said they would vote for Trump, the presumed Republican presidential nominee, over Clinton, the Democratic front-runner. Only about 25 percent said they would vote for Clinton in that matchup.


“Donald Trump May Be the US Military’s Least Liked Republican Presidential Candidate in over a Decade”


May 10, 2016

US active-duty career military personnel would vastly prefer Donald Trump as president over Hillary Clinton. To even a casual observer of US politics that should be unsurprising; the military has for years preferred candidates from the political right.

A new survey conducted by Military Times find that 54% would vote for Trump, the likely Republican nominee, as against 25% for Clinton, the all-but-presumptive Democratic one, in a head-to-head match-up. However, though large, that’s a much smaller margin than the military has shown in the past for the Republican candidate.


Good News Bad News


5 thoughts on “Two News Reports on the Same Survey

  1. It would be interesting to see how those figures break down according to gender and according to military rank.

  2. I think the assumption here is that the preference for Trump is due to the general right wing politics of the military. However, it is also true that Hillary Clinton is an extreme hawk who is more belligerent then Trump when it comes to interventions. That could be a reason for military people to oppose her.

    • I don’t know what the assumption of the authors of either article might be, but I was not really interested in why members of the military might prefer one candidate over another. I was more interested in the fact that the source article emphasized the very marked preference for Trump over Clinton while the other article emphasized that the usual preference for the Republican candidate over the Democratic candidate was actually much reduced in this instance. So, this is another example of statistics being close to meaningless unless one clearly understands both their immediate and their broader contexts–unless one has points of comparison, if not a range of interpretations, available to consider.

      • Well, the second article included this statement:

        the military has for years preferred candidates from the political right

        but I agree with you that your point was about the interpretation that each article gives to the survey. There does seem to be a propagandistic quality about these articles. Is the poll meant to influence voters with a “join the bandwagon” argument?

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