New Jersey Poll Finds Soft Support for Stem Cell Research Proposal

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 1, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Jersey Poll Finds Soft Support for Stem Cell Research Proposal Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 1,

Trenton, NJ ( — The latest poll of New Jersey residents and their views on the embryonic stem cell research ballot proposal that will appear on next week’s ballot finds a soft level of support. Pro-life groups oppose the proposal because it will force taxpayers to fund both the destructive research and human cloning.

Fairleigh Dickinson University conducted a new poll of voters’ attitudes on the topic and found that 47 percent of state residents back the proposal while 38 percent are opposed to it.

The polling results actually show a movement in the pro-life direction as a previous Rutgers-Eagleton poll found a 57-36 percent split in favor of the proposal.

The ballot initiative asks voters if the state should borrow $450 million to fund stem cell research grants over the next 10 years.

The new poll found 43 percent of men supporting the idea and 45 percent opposed. Women are more likely to support the borrow and clone plan by a 51 to 31 percentage point margin.

Looking at other subgroups in the poll, Democrats support the embryonic stem cell research plan by a 2-1 margin while Republicans oppose it by a 5-3 margin.

Peter Woolley, a political scientist and the poll director, told AP that the result of the ballot proposal depends on who turns out to vote next week.

"Ballot questions are typically decided by a fraction of the electorate," he said. "Fewer voters than usual come out to an off-year election like this one, and many of them will simply forget, or ignore, the ballot questions after they vote for their local candidates."

Earlier this week, Gov. John Corzine said he would spend $150,000 of his own money to persuade voters to support the initiative.

Corzine spokeswoman Lilo Stainton said Tuesday that he is donating the money to New Jersey for Hope, a political action committee designed to secure passage of the ballot proposition.

But pro-life groups are strongly opposing the vote because the ballot measure, if approved, will force residents to pay for embryonic stem cell research with their tax dollars. The research requires the destruction of days-old unborn children for their stem cells.

New Jersey Right to Life also filed a lawsuit against the ballot proposal because it fails to disclose that the money will also pay for human cloning.

They also say the proposal does not tell voters that the bonds will be paid through higher local property taxes if sales tax revenues are insufficient.

Last week, the state appeals court ruled against the challenge, but Right to Life may take their lawsuit to the state Supreme Court.

Related web sites:
New Jersey Right to Life –