by Steven Ertelt
November 10, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A post-election poll conducted by Fox News finds that, in the Missouri Senate race, which was dominated by embryonic stem cell research, neither the issue nor ads from actor Michael J. Fox helped Claire McCaskill. In fact, the ads benefited pro-life Sen. Jim Talent, who opposed taxpayer funding of the controversial science.
During the final two weeks of the election, actor Michael J. Fox created a huge controversy when he began airing a series of television commercials that mislead voters about pro-life candidates’ views on stem cell research.
In the ads, Fox was blasted for telling voters the candidates like Talent didn’t care about cures — but the ads didn’t make much impact.
Fox News asked Missouri voters whether the embryonic stem cell research ad campaign made voters more or less likely to vote for McCaskill, who Fox endorsed in the commercials.
A whopping 71 percent said the ads made "No difference" in their vote.
Only 7 percent said the ads made them more likely to support McCaskill but a larger group of voters, 18 percent, said Fox’s commercials made them less likely to support her.
Of those voters who said it made them less likely to vote for her some 94 percent ended up supporting pro-life Sen. Jim Talent, who opposed embryonic stem cell research funding.
As a result, the Fox ads provided Talent with a 10 percent edge on the issue of stem cell research because they turned off more voters than they encouraged to back McCaskill.
The Fox News poll also found that the issue of stem cell research in general didn’t provide any advantage to McCaskill.
Almost half of voters said embryonic stem cell research made no difference in how they voted.
And among the 25 percent who said the issue was extremely important to their vote, 59 percent favored Talent while just 39 percent backed McCaskill. That means opponents of the research, which involves the destruction of human life, were more energized than its supporters.
Talent fared better among all voters who used embryonic stem cell research as a basis on which to vote and even led voters who didn’t vote on the issue by a 55-41 percentage margin.
The poll found McCaskill was victorious only because she prevailed on other issues that had nothing to do with stem cell research.