Mar 15, 2018 - Politics & Policy

Poll of post-9/11 veterans group reveals Shulkin opposition


Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin. Photo: Aaron P. Bernstein / Getty Images

In the wake of reports that Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has fallen from President Trump's good graces, a new poll, conducted by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, reveals that only 24% of post-9/11 veterans surveyed approve of Shulkin's performance.

Why it matters: The poll shows that it's not just right-wing veterans groups like Concerned Veterans for America that are turning against Shulkin after an Inspector General report found he misused government funds — this is a moderate organization whose members are losing faith in him. 

“This poll shows in stunning clarity that many post-9/11 veterans are deeply dissatisfied with VA leadership right now. IAVA members read the news and are very concerned about the current state of affairs ... Members are clearly tired of repeatedly being disappointed, and their voices should drive this national conversation at this critical time for veterans.
— Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of IAVA

By the numbers:

  • Nationally, 55% of military members and veterans said they do not trust leadership at the VA, 31% said they are not sure and 14% said they trust it.
  • 41% said they disapprove or strongly disapprove of Shulkin's performance, 24% said they approve or strongly approve, 33% said they are not sure and 2% preferred not to answer.

Take note: IAVA issued a similar poll in January 2017 after the president announced that Shulkin was his nominee to lead the VA. The results revealed that 41% of those surveyed had no opinion of him, 36% supported his nomination, and 23% did not support it.

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Methodology: Emails were sent to IAVA’s members inviting them to participate in IAVA’s poll on VA leadership. The poll was available from 8 PM on 3/13/18 to 7 AM on 3/15/18. Over 4,200 IAVA service members, veterans and supporters participated and completed the survey. The results represents only data collected from the military and veteran community. The margin of error for this poll is +/- 1.6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

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