A new poll reveals that just over half of the nation’s service members have an unfavorable opinion of President Barack Obama.
A Military Times/Institute for Veterans and Military Families Poll released Monday showed 51.5 percent of service members surveyed had either a very unfavorable or somewhat unfavorable view of Obama’s time in office.
Only about 36 percent viewed Obama’s tenure in a positive light.
The poll showed that service members voted for change, with nearly 49 percent of those who voted in the November election supporting President-elect Donald Trump and only 29 percent supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Cutbacks to the services drew the greatest criticism, with 71 percent saying the armed forces need more personnel.
The poll found 52.1 percent of enlisted personnel disapproved of the Obama era. Officers were split, with 48 percent looking at Obama unfavorably and 44 percent supporting the departing president.
Breaking the results down by branches of service, Marines liked Obama the least, with 60 percent viewing his time as unfavorable. The most positive score came from the Navy, whose members gave Obama a 43.4 percent favorable rating.
The poll showed that service members believe Obama has made the country less safe.
Reducing troop strength in Iraq was cited by 59 percent as an action that made the nation less safe. Reducing force strength in Afghanistan was cited by 54 percent as making the U.S. less safe.
One commentator said Obama was never fully at home as the leader of the America’s fighting women and men.
“He’s a reluctant warrior,” said Phil Carter, director of the Military, Veterans and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security. “He has struggled to end the wars overseas and fulfill those promises, and he never managed to do so.”
The poll was conducted Dec. 16-21 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percent.
The poll’s results mirror past years. Two years ago, 55 percent of service members surveyed disapproved of Obama’s performance.
Even in his first year, the poll for 2009 showed that only 35 percent of service members backed Obama’s performance as commander in chief.
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