Fifty-two percent (52%) of U.S. voters agree with President Obama’s decision to lift the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
Thirty-eight percent (38%) oppose Obama’s decision which dramatically expands President Bush’s policy on the research, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey. Ten percent (10%) of voters are not sure which course is better to follow.
Seventy percent (70%) say embryonic stem cell research is at least somewhat likely to lead to cures for previously incurable diseases. Forty percent (40%) say it is Very Likely.
Just 22% deem it unlikely, including nine percent (9%) who say it is not at all likely. Nine percent (9%) are undecided.
Twenty-nine percent (29%) say embryonic stem cell research is morally wrong, but most (53%) disagree. However, 18% are undecided.
The new numbers indicate that voters have slightly more confidence in the research and less moral objection to it than they did two years ago.
Bush first authorized scientists at the National Institutes of Health and other federal agencies to study human embryonic stem cells with federal funds. But because of his moral opposition to a process that requires destroying human embryos, he limited the funding to cell lines in existence prior to August 2001.
Obama’s executive order signed on Monday adds hundreds of newer lines to the research process and streamlines funding for it. Pro-life activists are strongly opposed to the president’s decision.
In the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday, 38% of voters now Strongly Approve of Obama’s job performance, while 32% Strongly Disapprove.
Eighty-one percent (81%) of those who describe themselves as pro-choice support Obama’s decision to expand embryonic stem cell research. Sixty-eight percent (68%) of those who say they are pro-life are opposed.
While 59% of pro-life voters believe the research is morally wrong, 82% of those who vote pro-choice disagree.
Seventy-five percent (75%) of Democrats agree with Obama on the lifting of the funding ban, as do 34% of Republicans. Most Republicans (58%) and 13% of Democrats disagree with Obama’s decision.
Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters believe it at least somewhat likely that embryonic stem cell research will lead to cures for previously incurable diseases. Yet while 54% of Democrats say it is Very Likely to do so, only half as many GOP voters (27%) and 33% of unaffiliateds agree.
Seventy-three percent (73%) of Democrats do not believe embryonic stem cell research is morally wrong. Republicans and unaffiliated voters are fairly evenly divided on the question.
Seventy-nine percent (79%) of voters say they have followed the issue of stem cell research at least somewhat closely, including 40% who say they have followed it very closely. Just four percent (4%) say they haven’t followed it at all.
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