Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stem Cell Ads

I think those Michael J Fox ads (at least one of which is for a Republican) are powerful -- and will absolutely sway votes. Check out these poll numbers:

Among all respondents, support for stem cell research increased from 78% prior to viewing the ad, to 83% after viewing the ad. Support among Democrats increased from 89% to 93%, support among Republicans increased from 66% to 68% and support among Independents increased from 80% to 87% after viewing the ad.

The level of concern regarding a candidate's view on stem cell research increased among all respondents from 57% prior to viewing the ad to 70% after viewing the ad. Among Democrats, the level of concern increased from 66% to 83% and Republicans' level of concern increased from 50% to 60%. Independents' level of concern increased from 58% to 69%.

The perception that the November election is relevant to the U.S. policy on stem cell research increased across all voter segments, with an increase of 9% among all respondents pre- and post-viewing from 62% to 71%. The Democrats' perception increased from 75% to 83%,Republicans' perception increased from 55% to 62% and Independents' perception increased from 60% to 68% pre- and post-viewing. ...

The vast majority of responders indicated that the advertisement was believable with 76% of all responders reporting that it was "extremely believable" or "believable." Among party affiliation, 93% of Democrats 57% of Republicans and 78% of Independents indicated it "extremely believable" or "believable."

Respondents were asked to indicate what candidate they would vote for in the U.S. House of Representatives election if it was held today before and after viewing the ad.

Republicans who indicated that they were voting for a Republican candidate decreased by 10% after viewing the ad (77% to 67%). Independents planning to vote for Democrats increased by 10%, from 39% to 49%.
Think maybe that accounts for the positively unhinged GOP response? One ad, which will air in Missouri during the World Series, features a couple of baseball players (including one who will be pitching the night it airs), and sitcom star Patricia Heaton claiming that stem cell research victimizes women; that Prop 2 is a conspiracy to legalize human cloning; and that all that silly science stuff is a pyramid scheme, anyway. (After all, everyone knows that when you get Parkinson's or ALS, what you need is not a revolutionary medical treatment derived from stem cells. Oh, no. What you need is a Faith Healer. Demons, be gone! Demons, be gone!)

And, as if that's not desperate enough, Jim Caviezel--that's right, kids: Jesus Christ himself--bookends the ad. At the start, I swear to god, he seems to be speaking in tongues! And, at the end, he solemnly--sagely--intones
You know now. Don't do it.

Shame on them. And shame on any Missourian who falls for that shit.

Ironically, the aid is silent on the real reason the extreme right is against stem-cell research. It's about abortion. With the advent of the morning-after pill, they know that they have to move the line or lose the fight. And they're not ready to stop fightin' yet.

So now every spern really is sacred. Now, they're gonna fight for the "right to life" of eggs left over in the back of some fertility clinic freezer -- eggs that would otherwise be thrown out.

And they're gonna do it without actually taking a stand against fertility treatments. Quite the contortionists, aren't they?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The debate is a hot one. Since you posted about Fox and all, I thought you'd be interested in some facts.

It's pretty clear that the public's attention to stem cell research has increased substantially ( since 2001, when the debated first broke into the news. While majorities say they support stem cell research, question wording can influence results, which suggests there is still some uncertainty on this question. For more public opinion on stem cell research, visit Public Agenda’s Issue Guide on Medical Research (

Public Agenda is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group devoted to public opinion and public policy. Please visit for more information.

10/27/06, 1:36 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Interesting site. Thanks for the linkage.

10/27/06, 9:04 PM  
Blogger Blobby said...

I am all for stem cell research. But the issue of the anti Fox ads doesn't seem to be focused on that, but the stipulation of 'cloning'.

I'll admit I haven't read the proposal - since I'm not a citizen of that state, but if true, why would they even include it?

10/28/06, 9:18 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Like I said, they have to move the goal posts... They have to pretend the reason women are undergoing super-ovulation is stem cells, which isn't true. Women undergo super-ovulation because they're undergoing fertility treatments. Those eggs then languish in freezers, ultimately to be thrown out -- so if we can do some good with them, we should.

It's hard to argue against that, so they have to disingenuously argue against something they DO think will scare people -- hence, the cloning boogey-man.

10/28/06, 12:21 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home