While white males were solidly behind The Donald, one group may have handed him the win, military veterans.
Despite all the red flags waved to indicate his opposition to many issues that should’ve alarmed them, veterans wanted one thing Trump was certain to deliver on: His promise to blow up the system.
From the Center for Investigative Reporting:
Exit polls show veterans played a pivotal role in Trump’s surprise victory Tuesday night, with those who’d served in the military breaking for the New York billionaire by a nearly 2-to-1 margin, 61 to 34 percent.
Veterans make up about 10 percent of registered voters nationally, with large concentrations in the key swing states of Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
In interviews, many veterans said they weren’t sure what a Trump presidency would bring, but that they thought it was important to reject Hillary Clinton, who they said mishandled classified information and was unwilling to reform a broken health care system at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
While military veterans have historically supported Republicans for president, Trump’s margin among vets was more than twice that of John McCain’s in 2008. In that election, McCain, a Vietnam veteran who spent five years in a North Vietnamese prison camp, bested Obama by 10 points among military veterans.
This was despite the fact that Trump avoided service in Vietnam with five draft deferments, lied about his position about the Iraq war, disparaged veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder as weak and mocked the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq.