by Steven Ertelt
October 1, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — They’re two of the more controversial political issues and ones on which the presidential candidates have stark differences, but a new poll shows that a good portion of voters do not know the stances President Bush and John Kerry take on the issues of abortion and stem cell research.
A recent poll conducted by the conducted by the National Annenberg Election Survey, asked voters about eight different political issues and how Bush and Kerry stand. Voters were able to correctly identify the right stance with the right candidate only 51 percent of the time.
Despite President Bush’s clear pro-life track record against abortion, only 64 percent were able to identify that he is the pro-life candidate.
Some 11 percent of voters wrongly said Kerry was against abortions, five percent said both Bush and Kerry were pro-life and another 11 percent wrongly said neither candidate was against abortions.
Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com that the poll should motivate pro-life advocates to work harder to educate the public.
"The poll results underscore the importance of well-informed citizens educating their fellow citizens about the sharp distinctions between President Bush and John Kerry on the life issues," Johnson said.
NRLC and other pro-life groups are distributing reams of materials designed to do just that over the one month that remains until the election.
Meanwhile, just 54 percent were able to point out that Democratic nominee John Kerry favors using taxpayer funds for destructive embryonic stem cell research.
Some 15 percent of voters wrongly identified Bush as favoring the research that kills unborn children in their earliest days and 10 percent of voters said incorrectly said both candidates support the unproven research.
Kate Kenski, a senior research analyst at the Annenberg Public Policy Center, told the Washington Post that voters are probably more focused on the war in Iraq and the "horse race" of a close presidential contest than on specific political issues.
The poll of 1,189 adults was taken from Sept. 21-26 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.