May 30, 2011
U.S. military veterans and those currently on active military duty are less likely to approve of President Obama’s job performance than are Americans of comparable ages who are not in the military.
These results are based on an analysis of more than 238,000 interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking from January 2010 through April 2011. Respondents were classified as veterans/active-duty military based on responses to a series of questions probing whether any member of the household had served in the U.S. military, and whether the respondent himself or herself had served and, if so, whether the respondent was currently on active duty. Americans currently serving in the military overseas or on ships at sea would not be included in this national cell and landline telephone sample.
Thirty-seven percent of all active-duty military personnel and veterans surveyed approved of the job Obama is doing during the January 2010 to April 2011 time frame. That compares with 48% of non-veterans interviewed during the same period.
Obama’s approval rating varies by age, with younger Americans in general most likely to approve and older Americans least likely. The gap in approval between veterans/active duty military and non-veterans persists across the age spectrum, from 18- to 29-year-olds to those 80 and older.
Differences Across Gender Groups
Veterans and active-duty military, particularly those 40 and older, are predominantly men, and men are less likely to approve of the job Obama is doing than are women. However, the gap in Obama job approval between veterans/active-duty military and non-veterans persists among men in each age group.
Women who are serving or have served in the military are on a relative basis more positive about Obama than is the case for men who are members of the military or veterans. Female veterans or those in the military between the ages of 30 and 49, for example, are actually slightly more likely to approve of Obama than are non-veteran women in this age group.
Active-Duty Military Less Likely to Express an Opinion on Obama
Although active-duty military personnel are less likely to approve of the job Obama is doing than are national adults overall, this group’s disapproval is only marginally higher than that of national adults. This is because active-duty military — particularly those under 40 — are significantly more likely to say they have no opinion about Obama’s job performance than is the case for all adults in the same age group.