A new Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Friday shows that on the whole, 58 percent of Americans believe transgender people should be allowed to serve in the military. The results further show that 27 percent say transgender individuals should not be allowed in the military, and 15 percent of respondents say they “don’t know.”
The poll was started just after President Trump announced in a tweet on Wednesday that the U.S. will “not allow or accept” transgender individuals to serve. It took place from July 26-28 and has a 3.2 margin-of-error.
Trump’s announcement preempted an ongoing review by the Department of Defense and came as a shock to many senior military officers, including Marine Corps. General Joseph Dunford, who has since stated that the military will not alter its current policies until it receives additional guidance from Trump’s secretary of defense.
When broken down along partisan lines, Democrats are much more likely to accept the idea, with 83 percent of left-leaning respondents saying they should be allowed to serve, and only 8 percent said that they’re against it.
Those odds radically change when it comes to Republicans. Only 32 percent say that transgender people should be allowed to serve. On the other hand, nearly half of Republicans polled — 49 percent — say they should be banned from military service.
The poll also explored how Americans think about the impact of banning transgender service members. Approximately 32 percent said it would “hurt morale” in the military while 17 percent said it would “improve morale.” Another 33 percent felt it would “have no impact” and the rest were undecided.
On the issue of military capabilities, 14 percent said prohibiting transgender service members made the military “more capable”, while 43 percent said “no impact,” 22 percent said “less capable” and the rest were undecided.
Poll respondent Roger Kaikko, 61, a Trump voter near Cleveland, Ohio, said he disagrees with the President. “Even the President shouldn’t be able to take rights away from some people just because he may not like them,” Kaikko said. “They’re people too. Unless they’re causing problems, they should serve just like anybody else.”
The Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll was conducted online in English across the United States. It gathered responses from 1,249 adults including 533 Democrats and 434 Republicans.
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