Service Men and Women Upbeat on Bush, War In Iraq, Economy and Intend to Vote

    America’s military service men and women and their families are convinced that the country is going in the right direction, like George W. Bush much more than the civilian population does, support the war in Iraq more strongly and are more positive about the economy, the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Election Survey shows.

    From September 22 through October 5, Annenberg polled 655 adults who have either served on active duty between February and October or who were family members of those who served but were not available to be interviewed. Their answers were compared to the responses of 2,436 adults polled nationally from September 27 through October 3.

    The survey did not ask the voting preference of the respondents because a 1948 statute prohibits polling members of the armed services about whom they intend to vote for.

    The Pentagon is making intense efforts to get troops on active duty to vote this year, and 94 percent of the military sample said they intended to vote in the presidential election, compared to 85 percent of the civilian population. Eighty-nine percent of the military sample said they were registered, compared to 82 percent of the general population. Most of the polling was conducted before registration deadlines had passed, Seventy-seven percent of the military sample said they had learned enough about the candidates and the issues to cast an informed vote, compared to 65 percent of the general population.