Poll: Likely Voters Want Candidates to Press for Medical Research

Posted August 22, 2012 at 11:03am

Research America, a group that advocates for more federal medical research, today released the results of a recent poll that it is hoping will propel its cause to the top of candidates’ talking points.

The poll showed that 63 percent of respondents said the next president should announce initiatives promoting medical progress during his first 100 days in office, while 59 percent said elected officials do not pay enough attention to combating diseases. In addition, 74 percent of those surveyed said it’s important for the president to have a science adviser.

Research America’s President and CEO Mary Woolley said the poll was timed at a “critical stage in the election cycle, just before the conventions.”

The GOP convention will begin in Tampa, Fla., on Monday, while the Democrats will gather on Sept. 4 in Charlotte, N.C.

Woolley said the issue has been given “short shrift” by presidential and Congressional candidates.

“What we think is very telling is that potential voters say candidates for the presidency and for Congress are not talking enough about an issue that a majority of respondents say is a priority,” she said on a conference call with reporters. “Voters want to elect candidates who value and will prioritize medical health research.”

According to Research America, the online poll was conducted last week by JZ Analytics, using a sample size of 1,052 likely U.S. voters.

JZ Analytics Senior Analyst John Zogby said the poll showed agreement across party and ideological lines.

“In this poll, what I’m struck by are what I call border crossings,” he said. Democrats, Republicans and those in agreement with the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street found broad areas of agreement on medical research funding by the government, he said.