Poll: Strong support for women in combat, universal background checks

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"There is overwhelming support for allowing women in combat, with virtually no difference between men and women. But on whether such a move will increase military effectiveness, and especially on the question of whether in the case of a military draft women should be called, too, there is a sizeable difference in how men and women feel," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement.

Voters are more divided on the question of whether allowing women into combat will enhance military effectiveness. While 36 percent of men say it will enhance effectiveness, 34 percent say the change could compromise the military's success. Women are far more likely to say the move is a positive one, saying in a 46-30 percent split that it will enhance effectiveness.

The survey also examined voter attitudes on gun control, finding a staggering 92 percent of all voters support requiring universal background checks on gun purchases. That total includes 89 percent of Republicans, 92 percent of independents, and 96 percent of Democrats.

The poll also found sizable support for other aspects of the gun-control plan presented by President Obama in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., shooting. A majority of voters support a ban on the sale of assault weapons (56-39 percent) and high capacity magazines (56-40 percent).

But despite this, a plurality of voters say the National Rifle Association — not President Obama — best represents their view on guns. Of those surveyed, 46 percent say the gun-lobbying group, which has professed opposition to the president's gun agenda, best reflects their view. Just 43 percent say the president best represents their views.

It's also unclear that voters are willing to punish congressional leaders who break with their beliefs on gun policies.

"Despite the huge news media coverage of the issue since the Newtown shooting, only 37 percent of voters are more likely to vote for a congressman who votes to ban sales of assault rifles, while 31 percent are less likely and 30 percent say it would not affect their vote," Brown said.

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