Friday, July 28, 2017
Voters are evenly divided over President Trump’s decision to prohibit from military service those who want to live openly as the opposite sex.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 44% of Likely U.S. Voters agree with the president’s statement Wednesday in announcing his decision that “our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” Forty-five percent (45%) disagree, while 11% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans agree with Trump’s statement. Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Democrats and unaffiliated voters by a 50% to 36% margin disagree.
The president announced on Wednesday that he had decided after discussing the matter with military leaders and experts that transgender troops will no longer be allowed to serve in any capacity. The Pentagon is awaiting formal notice from the White House before announcing how the policy will affect transgenders who have joined the military since President Obama lifted the ban on their serving.
Just 23% of voters think the U.S. military’s decision to allow openly transgender people to serve is good for the military.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 26-27, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Nearly half of voters agreed in late June with a request by the heads of the Army, Air Force and Navy to delay military enlistments by transgender people pending further study.
Men are more supportive of the prohibition on transgenders in the military than women are.
Blacks agree much more strongly with Trump’s statement than whites and other minority voters do.
Fifty-one percent (51%) of self-described moderates and 73% of liberals disagree with the statement about transgenders in the military; 71% of conservatives agree with it.
Eighty-five percent (85%) of voters who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing as president agree with the statement. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of those who Strongly Disapprove of his job performance disagree.
When the Pentagon first announced that transgender individuals would be allowed to serve openly in the military two years ago, voters were closely divided: 45% approved of the policy change, but nearly as many (42%) were opposed.
Most voters continue to think highly of the U.S. military and feel its primary role is to fight enemies. Just one percent (1%) say setting an example of gender and sexual equality for the rest of U.S. society is the most important mission of the military.
Just 38% of all Americans favor allowing transgender students to use the bathrooms of the opposite biological sex, and most agree school bathroom policy is not a matter for the federal government to decide.
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