POLITICS
02/07/2013 02:23 pm ET Updated Feb 07, 2013

Women In Combat Favored By Most Voters: Poll

A broad majority of voters favor allowing women to serve in combat, according to a poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University.

The poll found that 75 percent of voters say military women who want to serve in ground units engaging in close combat should be allowed to do so. There was little gender disparity in the response, although women were 4 points more likely than men to support the change. An even wider majority of voters under 30 -- 85 percent -- were in favor of allowing women into combat.

There was less agreement on whether women should be included if the military draft were to be reinstated -- just over half favored the idea, while 42 percent opposed it. Men favored the proposal, 59 to 36 percent, while women were roughly split, 45 percent to 48 percent.

Quinnipiac also found that 41 percent thought women's presence in combat enhances military effectiveness, while a third said women would compromise that effectiveness. Another quarter were undecided or said it would have neither effective.

The poll's results on women in combat are in line with a January Gallup poll that found 74 percent of adults would vote to let women serve in combat.

A Washington Post/Pew survey found that two-thirds of adults supported women serving in ground units that engage in close combat. An online HuffPost/YouGov poll, which differed from the others by providing a neutral option, found that 45 percent favored allowing women to serve in combat units, and another 21 percent neither favored nor opposed it.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced in January that the Pentagon was lifting its ban on women in combat.

The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,772 registered voters by phone between Jan. 30 and Feb. 4.

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