Wednesday was Veterans’ Day, a national celebration of the contributions the armed forces make to American society. Here at Crowdpac, we looked at a different kind of contribution made by members of the armed forces - their political contributions to 2016 presidential campaigns. We studied the occupation and employer data within this year’s FEC records to see who America’s bravest envision as the next commander in chief.
As it turns out, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has secured far and away the most funding from military-affiliated individuals, cashing in at $69 thousand in itemized contributions. For what it’s worth, Clinton supports "the targeted use of special operations personnel to support our partners in the fight against ISIS, including in Syria," but definitively “opposes a ground war in the Middle East”.
When it comes to combined donations from military personnel however, Republican presidential hopefuls still takes the lead, which is interesting given their varied views on foreign policy and military engagement. Ted Cruz, who ranks third in total funds raised, advocates for attacking ISIS solely from the skies. And Rand Paul, pegged by some as an isolationist, has raised just slightly more than Jeb Bush, who supports sending troops to Syria.
Surprisingly, Lindsey Graham, the only veteran in the race, and Trump, who emphasizes rebuilding the military in his stump speeches, have both raised among the least. Even Bernie Sanders, who applied for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam War, has raised more from current and former military than Trump and Graham!