Americans Won’t Base Their Votes on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 30, 2006   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Americans Won’t Base Their Votes on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

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by Steven Ertelt Editor
October 30
, 2006

Washington, DC ( — Despite assurances from embryonic stem cell research advocates that pro-life lawmakers who voted against spending tax money on it would be thrown out of Congress, a new Newsweek poll finds that stem cell research is on the bottom of the list of important issues voters are considering in next week’s elections.

The Newsweek poll asked voters to name which of seven top political issues would affect the way they voted.

Just three percent of Americans say that they will cast their Congressional ballots based on the issue of stem cell research.

Only one percent of Republicans said stem cell research would be the deciding factor while four percent of Democrats and six percent of independent voters said it would be their top issue.

Meanwhile, four percent of all voters will use abortion as their number one issue to determine their vote for congressional races.

That includes 7 percent of Republicans, and two percent of both Democrats and independents who name abortion as their top political issues heading into the elections.

Though the question includes some inherent biases, Newsweek also asked respondents which side of the abortion debate they support.

The poll found 62 percent of Republicans call themselves pro-life while just 31 percent back abortion. Conversely, 69 percent of Democrats say they are pro-abortion while 25 percent of Democrats consider themselves pro-life.

The poll also found Republicans were more likely to oppose spending federal tax dollars on embryonic stem cell research while Democrats were more likely to favor it.

For this Newsweek Poll, Princeton Survey Research Associates International interviewed 1,002 adults aged 18 and older on October 26-27. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points, with different margins of error for subgroups.

Newsweek’s poll skewed its survey by interviewing more Democrats and independents than Republicans.