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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

AP-Ipsos Poll: Most Oppose Reinstating Draft

As the toll for the war in Iraq worsens, it appears that the military’s ability to attract new recruits is being badly damaged. In April, for example, the Army’s recruiting fell short 42 percent. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has ruled out reinstating the draft for the time being. But other politicians have expressed support for the draft, including a few Democrats, such as N.Y. Rep. Charlie Rangel.
Bad idea, at least for any candidates facing a close election, according to an AP-Ipsos poll, conducted 6/20-22.
The poll found that 7 out of 10 respondents opposed reinstatement of the draft, with nearly half saying they “strongly” oppose bringing the draft back. About a quarter of the respondents supported reinstating the draft. A majority of respondents said they would discourage a son from joining the military, and two-thirds of those polled would discourage a daughter from joining.
“People simply don’t want their kids to be sent off to Iraq to be shot at in a situation in which the value of the war is becoming more and more questionable,” explained Dr. John Mueller, a political-science professor at Ohio State University and author of War, Presidents and Public Opinion, quoted in DiversityInc.com.
The poll found that a majority of all major demographic groups opposed reinstating the draft, although men were less likely to oppose it than women. Republicans supported the draft reinstatement proposal more than Democrats and respondents over age 50 supported it more than younger adults.