(Week of 1/26/2013) Last week, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta lifted the long-standing ban on women in military combat roles. This military decision meets public support in the latest Economist/YouGov Poll – and more Americans now are in favor of women in combat roles than they have been in recent years.
52% now favor women in combat roles, up from 46% a year ago, and 45% the year before that. One in five are still opposed.
Support for women in combat roles comes from all groups, though at different levels. It is highest among younger adults (60% in favor) and among college graduates (65% in favor). Although Democrats are more strongly in favor, Republicans now are more likely to support this change than to oppose it. Men and women are both in favor, though one in three women are neither in favor or opposed.
Since last year, support for women in combat roles has increased 15% among college graduates. Republican and Democrats have both increased their support by about the same amount – Democrats by nine points and Republicans by ten. Last February, Republicans were more likely to oppose women in combat roles than they were to support that.
Photo source: Press Association