If a nationwide referendum were being held at this time, the U.S. public would vote both in favor of registering the names of young men and women and in favor of a return to the military draft.
The latest Gallup poll shows 59 percent voting for a return to the draft and 36 percent opposed. In a March 1979 Gallup poll, opinion was evenly divided with 45 percent in favor and 46 percent opposed.
While opinion leans heavily toward a return to the draft at this time, support for drafting women is less solid. But opinion has moved in this direction since the 1979 survey. Today 51 percent favor drafting women, versus 45 percent who oppose the idea, a shift from the earlier survey, when 43 percent said women should be required to serve and 50 percent said they shouldn't.
Those sampled who were between the ages of 18 and 24 oppose a return to the draft at this time, by 57 percent to 41 percent. Those 30 and older back the draft by a 2-to-1 ratio or better.
When individuals polled who believe women should participate in the draft were asked whether women then should be eligible for combat roles, opposition outweighed support, 54 percent to 41 percent. This is about the same sentiment found in the earlier Gallup poll, when 51 percent said women should not be eligible and 44 percent held the opposite view.