Almost half (49%) of Americans favor requiring young men and women to give a year of service to the nation. But a majority (57%) of the group most likely to be affected -- those under the age of 30 -- oppose the idea.
The idea of mandatory national service has been floated numerous times by think tanks and opinion writers over the past decade and a half, but it has never become a major issue in national politics. U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel unsuccessfully pushed a version of the idea in every legislative session from 2003 to 2015; at one point, it even reached the House floor, where it was defeated by a vote of 402-2.
Though the idea has never garnered much attention as a national policy proposal, there is support for the concept among segments of the public. A majority of Republicans, including independents who lean Republican, favor it (57%), as do men (57%) and those 65 or older (66%).