Polling Shows Support For Stem Cell Research

(AP Photo/Richard Lewis)
With President Obama's announcement that he is reversing former President George W. Bush's restrictions on federally-funded embryonic stem cell research, we decided to take a look at CBS News polling on the topic and found the Americans have generally shown their support for the research.

In 2007, the last time CBS News asked the question, 65 percent said they approved of "medical research using embryonic stem cells" compared to 25 percent who disapproved. At the time, 74 percent of Democrats approved as did 54 percent of Republicans.

When CBS News first asked about medical research using embryonic stem cells in 2004, 50 percent approved of the idea. Support for it has been on the rise since then with 56 percent approving in 2005 and 59 percent in 2006.

However, it should be noted that a recent Gallup poll comes at the question a different way -- specifically asking about the issue of government-funded research. In a poll last month, 52 percent said they support fewer or no restrictions on federally-funded research and 41 percent they support keeping the same restrictions or not funding the research at all. Those figures were a dip from a 2007 Gallup poll in which 60 percent of Americans said they supported fewer or no restrictions on federally-funded research.

Jennifer De Pinto, manager of election and survey information for CBS News, contributed to this post.

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