Debate Tip for Kerry: A Majority Favors Embryonic Stem Cell Research

From Holden:

This survey should prove helpful tonight:

Callers for VCU [Virginia Commonwealth University] asked 1,004 randomly selected adults between Sept. 7-17 a 12-minute-long series of questions, including: “On the whole, how much do you favor or oppose medical research that uses stem cells from human embryos – strongly favor, somewhat favor, somewhat oppose or strongly oppose, don’t know?”

Fifty-three percent said they strongly or somewhat favor the research, and 36 percent somewhat or strongly oppose it. Seven percent answered “don’t know” and 4 percent had no answer. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

In 2001, the survey found a slight majority, about 48 percent, in support of stem-cell research. A drop to 35 percent in 2002 was followed by a rebound to 47 percent last year.

The latest results seem to mirror findings by the Pew Research Center and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. That poll, conducted in August, found a similar slim majority, 52 percent, who say it is more important to conduct stem-cell research than to not destroy embryos, up from 43 percent in 2002.

“With more information, there grows more support,” said Daniel Perry, president of the advocacy group Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research.