Some findings on public opinion about embryonic stem cell research and federal funding for that research.
It is one of the thorniest issues facing the Bush presidency _ whether to allow federal funding for research that uses cells derived from embryos. The research is considered a valuable aid in finding treatments for some diseases, but is fiercely opposed by some in the anti-abortion movement and the Catholic church. The issue divides conservatives and has heavy support in the scientific community.
The recent surveys by Gallup and ABC News-Washington Post involved 1,000 or more adults apiece and were taken last month. The polls have error margins of about 3 percentage points. A majority of Americans _ about six in 10 _ say they support embryonic stem cell research. (ABC, Gallup) More than half (57 percent) of those who voted for Bush in 2000 said they support the research. (ABC) White Catholics were more likely than evangelical white Protestants to support the research. Evangelicals were about evenly split on the issue, while white Catholics supported it by a 2-1 margin. White Protestants who are not evangelicals supported it by a 4-1 margin. (ABC) Republicans supported stem cell research by a 49-37 margin, while independents and Democrats supported it by better than 2-1. (ABC) Those who described themselves as conservatives were evenly split on the question while self-described moderates favor it by better than 2-1 and self-described liberals by 6-1. (ABC)