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Half of 18-29 Year-Olds Think Bush Wants to Reinstate Draft

Both Bush and Kerry say they are opposed to draft 

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About half of the country’s 18 to 29-year-olds believe that President George W. Bush wants to reinstate the military draft, even though he and his challenger, Senator John F. Kerry have each insisted they oppose the idea, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey show.

Older respondents were more likely than younger respondents to know that neither Republican candidate President George W. Bush nor Democratic candidate Senator John Kerry favors the draft.

“Young voters are much more misinformed about the presidential candidates’ positions on the draft than the population in general,” said Kate Kenski, a senior analyst at the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. “Only about a quarter of 18 to 29 year olds knew that neither President Bush nor Senator Kerry favors the draft compared to 42 percent of citizens overall. Given that young people are the ones to be affected most by a draft, they should know that there is no difference between the candidates on this issue.”

Annenberg polling from September 27 through October 3 among 1,543 adults asked which candidate favors reinstating the draft. Thirty percent said Bush, 10 percent said Kerry, and 7 percent said both. Forty-two percent said “neither,” and 11 percent said that they did not know. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus two percentage points.

But among 18 to 29-year-olds, 51 percent said Bush, 8 percent said Kerry, 7 percent said both would. Twenty-six percent said neither favored the idea, and 8 percent said they did not know. The margin of sampling error for the younger respondents was plus or minus 7 percentage points.

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