by Steven Ertelt
October 10, 2004
Sacramento, CA (LifeNews.com) — A new poll in California shows only a slight gain in public support for a measure that would costs taxpayers $6 billion to pay for embryonic stem cell research, despite a multimillion dollar advertising campaign.
According to the California Field Poll of likely voters, support for Proposition 71 has increased to a 46 to 39 percent margin.
The 7 point advantage is a shift from the three point lead the same poll found in August showing 45 percent in support and 42 percent of California residents opposed.
The poll found that voter awareness about the upcoming ballot issue rose 10 percent and voters who are more familiar with the proposal are more likely to support it.
Those who were aware of the measure backed it by a 58 to 34 percent margin, but only on-third of voters who said they were unfamiliar with Prop. 71 said they would back it.
Twenty percent of voters said they had heard or seen the ads in the "Yes on 71" campaign.
Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll, told the Sacramento Bee newspaper that he expects the advertising campaign to persuade enough voters for the measure to pass.
However, Wayne Johnson, a spokesman for a group of taxpayers and doctors opposed to the embryonic stem cell research proposal, says the support for the measure should be higher given the millions spent promoting it.
"These are outstanding numbers for us," he told the Bee. "Now is when they should be getting out front. You can’t turn on the television without seeing their spots."
Johnson said many voters will flinch when they see the $6 billion price tag for the destructive research. California is still battling tough economic times and the state government remains in a fiscal crisis.
California’s largest nurses association this week announced it opposes Proposition 71.
The telephone survey of 549 Californians had a large margin of error of 4.3 percent. That means support for the measure could be much stronger or barely a majority of those with an opinion.
The August poll showing a three percent margin of support surveyed almost twice as many voters.