WASHINGTON – In spite of denials by the Bush administration, half of young Americans believe President Bush wants to reinstate the military draft, a national poll suggests.
The National Annenberg Election Survey (search) found that 51 percent of adults age 18 to 29 believe Bush wants to reinstate the draft. Eight percent said Kerry supports bring back the draft, and 7 percent said both want to. A fourth of those polled said neither candidate favors the idea.
Both Bush and Kerry say they don't support a renewed military draft. Earlier this week, the House defeated a bill paving the way to a draft 402-2. House Republicans have sought to quash the persistent Internet rumor that the president wants to reinstate the draft if re-elected while Democrats have fanned the flames on the rumor.
"Young voters are much more misinformed about the presidential candidates' positions on the draft than the population in general," said Kate Kenski, an analyst at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center.
Three in 10 adults think Bush wants to reinstate the draft, and 7 percent of all adults think both Bush and Kerry feel that way.
The polling of 1,543 adults was done from Sept. 27 to Oct. 3 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points — 7 percentage points for the young adults.