Stem-Cell Support

Mar 6, 2009 4:22pm

The president’s found another way not to endear himself to conservative Republicans – underscoring how difficult it is in practice to reach across the country's political divides.

ABC’s Jake Tapper, Brian Hartman and Lisa Stark report that President Obama on Monday will sign an executive order overturning restrictions on federal funding of stem cell research, as he promised during the presidential campaign. He’s got majority support: Per our ABC/Post poll in January, nearly six in 10 Americans support just that – albeit with partisan, ideological and religious differences.

Overall, 59 percent support loosening the restrictions, 35 percent oppose doing so, about the same as when we asked in 2007. It's a similar 68-26 percent among Democrats and 64-30 percent among independents (the crucial center of American politics), but turns to 40-55 percent among Republicans, with more than half opposed. Similarly it's 73-22 percent among liberals and 67-28 percent among moderates, but 38-57 percent among conservatives.

Support’s lowest among conservative Republicans, who split 26-71 percent on the question. (Compared to liberal Democrats, 74-21.)

Mainline Protestants favor loosening the restrictions by a broad 70-24 percent, white Catholics by 59-37 percent, all Catholics by 54-41 percent. But that goes to 43-52 percent among evangelical Protestants and 38-58 percent among evangelical white Protestants.

Among those who profess no religious affiliation, it's 80-15 percent support. Table below.

On another subject, do you support or oppose loosening the current restrictions on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research? 
                 Support   Oppose1/16/09: All                59%       35  

Democrats          68        26  Independents       64        30  Republicans        40        55  

Liberals           73        22Moderates          67        28Conservatives      38        57

Lib. Dems.         74        21Cons. Reps.        26        71

No religion        80        15Mainline Prot.     70        24White Catholics    59        37All Catholics      54        41All evangelical  Protestants      43        52Evangelical white   Protestant       38        58

Trend:4/15/07            60        361/19/07            55        38
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