Polls and Opinions

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Special Reports: December 28, 2003: Elections 2004: Polls and Opinions

This Year's Presidential Elections and the Peace Corps

Read what the candidates are saying (and doing) about the Peace Corps, who RPCVs are supporting for President, and why.

Both Presidential candidates are talking about the Peace Corps and are proposing budget increases for the agency and increasing the number of volunteers in the field. Read the stories below, then take our informal poll and tell us why you think RPCVs should support Bush or why you think RPCVs should support Kerry for the White House in 2004.

George W. Bush

John F. Kerry
President Bush in his February 2002 State of the Union Address proposed increasing the number of volunteers in the field to 15,000 by 2007 and has proposed annual budget increases for the Peace Corps to meet that goal. Bush has made it a point to visit volunteers during trips to Africa and the Philippines, to talk about the Peace Corps to visiting foreign leaders, to lobby them for the Peace Corps to enter new countries and return to former countries and the President has talked about the Peace Corps in radio addresses to the nation.

On the minus side, the President has not lobbied for his Peace Corps budget requests which have been cut by Congress and many RPCVs think that Bush's foreign policy has undercut the ideals of the Peace Corps.

Read the stories below and tell us if you think RPCVs should support Bush?

Peace Corps names controversial Virginia Politician Jay Katzen as new Regional Director for EMA region 26 February 2004

President Bush asks for $401 Million for Peace Corps in FY2005 Budget 2 February 2004

Peace Corps to Receive Record High Funding 23 January 2004

President Bush praises Peace Corps in Weekly Radio Address 20 December 2003

President Bush defends Freedom in Iraq and Middle East 6 November 2003

President Bush Visits Peace Corps Volunteers in the Philippines 18 October 2003

President Bush talks about Peace Corps work during state visit from President of Kenya 7 October 2003

Bush creates "Volunteers for Prosperity" program with executive order 25 September 2003

Bush meets with future PCVs in Minneapolis 28 August 2003

Bush greets future PCVs Edward and Jane Bardon in Minnesota 26 August 2003

Bush to salute retired Minnesota couple joining Peace Corps 24 August 2003

President Bush visits Peace Corps Volunteers in Botswana 20 August 2003

PCV Sally Altland meets President Bush in Botswana 1 August 2003

Bush wants new regimes in Africa 27 June 2003

Bush's actions on Americorps belie words on national service 16 June 2003

President Bush Signs HIV/AIDS Act, Praises Peace Corps 27 May 2003

President Bush announces "Volunteers for Prosperity" 21 May 2003

President Bush Salutes Peace Corps on 42nd Anniversary 4 March 2003

President Bush Announces 2004 Budget; Peace Corpsí Funding to Increase 3 February 2003

Bush's Peace Corps agenda lags behind 26 December 2002

Candidate John Kerry in his September 2003 speech on National Service called for a Peace Corps with 25,000 volunteers, proposed a "Service for College" initiative in which for two years of service to the United States, every young person can earn the equivalent of the state's four-year public college tuition and he and his wife have talked in campaign speeches about how the U.S. should present a world image "of the Peace Corps rather than weapons of mass destruction."

On the minus side, even though Kerry's plans for the Peace Corps appear more ambitious than Bush's, some RPCVs say that Kerry hasn't done anything substantive for the Peace Corps and that the Peace Corps is better off with Bush's proposed increases which he has worked for than for Kerry's proposed increases which he may or may not work for if he is elected President.

Read the stories below and tell us if you think RPCVs should support Kerry?

In an effort to boost enrollment in the Peace Corps from 6,700 today to 25,000 "where we ought to be," Kerry said his administration would pay the four-year tuition to an in-state public university for any high school graduate who gives two years to the Peace Corps 6 March 2004

While a college student in South Africa in the 1950s, Teresa Heinz Kerry frequently marched against apartheid. In those years, she says today, the United States in her mind was more a hopeful idea than a place, an idea embodied by the Peace Corps workers in Africa 1 March 2004

Maurice "Maury" Albertson believes the idea of the international Peace Corps could give Kerry's campaign a boost similar to the one Kennedy's campaign received when he first advocated the founding of a U.S. corps. But he has not heard back from Kerry on his proposal 29 February 2004

Teresa Kerry says America can win the war on terrorism by presenting a different, kinder face to the world, one exemplified by the friendly optimism of a Peace Corps volunteer 25 February 2004

Terrorism, Teresa Heinz Kerry said, is going to be defeated by the "can-do spirit" and "happy faces of Peace Corps volunteers" and by better intelligence and support of other countries 24 February 2004

The ghost of JFK runs for president 22 February 2004

For somebody like John Kerry, the notion of paying any price, bearing any burden, join the Peace Corps, join the Green Berets - all that sloganeering really influenced him a great deal 15 February 2004

Kerry proposed the "Service for College" initiative to help make college affordable and strengthen America's security. According to this initiative, for two years of service to the United States, every young person can earn the equivalent of the state's four-year public college tuition 12 February 2004

David Magnani asks RPCVs to support Kerry for President 10 February 2004

Mrs. Kerry said the U.S. should present a world image "of the Peace Corps rather than weapons of mass destruction." 7 February 2004

Peace Corps Supporter John Kerry wins primaries in Delaware, Missouri, North Dakota and Arizona 3 February 2004

Action Corps Head Sam Brown supports Kerry 24 January 2004

Peace Corps Supporter John Kerry wins Iowa caucus 19 January 2004

Peace Corps Supporter John Kerry wins New Hampshire Primary 19 January 2004

Candidate Kerry promotes Peace Corps service 15 September 2003

Kerry proposes "Service for College" program, expansion of Peace Corps 20 May 2003

James Pindell writes about Kerry's policy on mandatory national public service 20 May 2003

Senator Kerry calls for expanding Peace Corps to 25,000 19 May 2003

John Kerry's speech on Citizenship and Service 19 May 2003

Presidential hopeful John Kerry praises Peace Corps 23 January 2003