September 09, 2019

2020 Candidates With Military Experience Struggle to Break Through

Featuring Loren DeJonge Schulman

Source: Bloomberg

Journalist Daniel Flatley

Three Democratic 2020 candidates could boast of military service in America’s longest-running wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But that experience is doing nothing for them in the current race.

Of the three veterans remaining in the Democratic campaign, Pete Buttigieg hasn’t cracked double digits in national polling. Tulsi Gabbard failed to qualify for the third debate in Houston on Thursday. Joe Sestak, a retired admiral, has 0% support in an aggregate of polls compiled by RealClearPolitics. A fourth, Seth Moulton, dropped out in August.

The combat veterans all launched their presidential bids by emphasizing their military expertise. But they have failed to catch fire with voters, even though U.S. troops remain in Afghanistan after 18 years and many Democrats have expressed frustration with presidents of both parties for failing to end overseas armed interventions such as those in Syria and Iraq.

Read the full story and more in Bloomberg.

Authors

  • Loren DeJonge Schulman

    Deputy Director of Studies

    Loren DeJonge Schulman is the Deputy Director of Studies and the Leon E. Panetta Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security. Her research interests include nation...