Key Crosstab Findings on Poll Analyzing American Support of Human Cloning

Date: 04/23/2002

Question: “Just last week, President Bush stated that he is opposed to both reproductive cloning, that is cloning with the goal of creating a child, and research cloning, which involves the creation of cloned human embryos for the purpose of destroying them to retrieve stem cells from the embryos for medical experiments.”

Would you say that you strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree or strongly disagree with the President’s statement?

The overall high level of support for the President’s statement is both high (63%), and intense (48% “strongly” agree). With the exception of singles with household earnings over $50K, all demographic groups are more likely to agree than disagree.

A reverse gender gap emerges: Women are ten points more likely than men to support the President’s position, and with notable intensity (68%, compared to 58%). A majority of all women (53%) “strongly agree” with the President, and an additional 15% “somewhat agree.”

Those most likely to support the President’s statement include middle income households ($30K and $49K; 71%), those in the South Central region of the country (71%), 25-34 year olds (69%), and Americans with children under ate 18 (66%).

Marriage intensifies support as well. Over two-thirds (67%) married Americans agree with the President, as do 70% of married women.

Even among those groups least likely to agree with the President; Single men, and singles making over $50K, emerge with approximately half in agreement (51%, and 46%, respectively).

Question: Which of the following comes closest to your own opinion:

Person 1 supports human cloning to allow science and research to pursue cures to diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and Parkinson’s. Person 1 is opposed to cloning for creation of human beings, but supports cloning for creation of human embryos, which would be destroyed when used for medical research.

Person 2 agrees that it is important to use science and research to cure diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes and Parkinson’s, but says that there are more ethical ways, like through the use of adult stem cells. Person 2 says it is wrong to create human embryos for the specific purpose of destroying them, even in medical research.

A swelling majority (59%), including typically center-left cohorts of the population, agree with the more conservative position on human cloning for medical research. This is twice the number that side with the more liberal argument (26%), modeled after a statement made by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle last week.

The intensity for the anti-cloning argument is higher than the total combined support for the pro-cloning position (38% “strongly agree person 2”, compared to 26% “strongly or somewhat agree person 1”).

Women are more likely than men to support the conservative position on cloning (62%, compared to 55%).

African Americans (65%), those with children (65%), married individuals (64%), and New Englanders (63%) are the most likely to agree with “person 2.”

Over half of young Americans age 18-24 (56%) also support “person 2.”

Married women are the most likely to show their support for the conservative position (69%, 51% “strongly agree), and differentiate themselves from single women, of which a smaller majority, 53%, agree.

Four-in-ten (40%) of those who oppose the President’s statement in the earlier question also indicated they agree with “person 2,” the conservative position on human cloning for medical research.

Question: And would you be more or less likely to vote for a candidate for office if you knew he or she supported making legal the cloning of human embryos for medical experimentation?

Indicating the level of salience this issue may have at the ballot box in November, Americans are three times “less likely” to vote for a candidate for office that supported legal cloning of human embryos for medical experimentation than to be “more likely to support him or her. Those groups that had a lower likelihood of siding with the conservative position, or the President’s statement also were slightly more likely to indicate that the issue would make “no difference” in their vote.

African-Americans seem willing to register their opposition to human cloning at the ballot box (72%), and are less likely to vote for a candidate that supports cloning human embryos for medical experimentation, by a far higher margin than Whites (59%).

Over two-thirds (68%) of women said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate that supported legal cloning of human embryos for medical experimentation, compared to 52% of men.

An additional 39% of those who actually oppose the President’s statement in the earlier question, and 22% of those who side with legalizing human cloning for medical experimentation (person 1) are still less likely to vote for a candidate that supports human cloning for medical experiments. Fifteen percent of those that disagree with the President, and 20% of those who side with “person 1” said the issue makes “no difference” in their vote.

Men were statistically more likely than women to say the issue makes no difference” in how they would vote (15%, compared to 10%).

Married women (70%), and those over 55 (65%) are also among the most likely to oppose candidates that support cloning human embryos for medical experimentation.

Those most likely to vote for a candidate that supports legalized cloning of human embryos include 18-24 year olds (35%), singles with income over $50K (29%), married men (28%).


Data derived from national survey of 800 adults representative of the population at large. The survey was fielded April 13-15, 2002 and aggregate data incur a margin of error calculated at +3.5%. Data for subsets of population is slightly higher.

 

(Compiled by The Polling Company)