The Military Leadership Diversity Commission has company: Nearly three-quarters of Americans agree that women in the armed services should be allowed to serve in ground units that engage in direct combat.
The commission, established by Congress in 2009 to evaluate military policies, recommended earlier this month that the U.S. military stop excluding women from ground combat units, saying such policies do not in fact keep them out of combat situations, deny them equal opportunities to serve and interfere with their promotion to senior ranks.
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll finds little controversy about it: Seventy-three percent of Americans support allowing women in the military to serve in ground units that engage in close combat – essentially the same among men and women alike.
There are some differences among groups. Support for allowing women in combat roles peaks among young adults – 86 percent of under-30s – while dropping to 57 percent among senior citizens. And it’s higher among more-educated Americans – 79 percent among those with college degrees vs. 66 percent among people who haven’t finished high school.
Politically, support for allowing women in combat roles is higher among Democrats (80 percent) and independents (73 percent) than it among Republicans (62 percent). It ranges from 85 percent among liberals to 58 percent among “very” conservative Americans. But in no group is a majority opposed.
Here's the question we asked:
34. Do you support or oppose allowing women in the military to serve in ground units that engage in close combat?
Result: Support 73%, Oppose 25%, No opinion 2%