Local News

Poll: N.C. residents split on vouchers, stem cell research

Posted October 6, 2008 11:26 a.m. EDT
Updated October 6, 2008 4:16 p.m. EDT

— North Carolinians are as divided as state and national politicians on the issues of school vouchers and embryonic stem cell research, according to a poll released Monday.

The Elon University poll surveyed a sample of 477 people statewide last week and found that 49.1 percent opposed giving state-funded vouchers to parents to pay for their children to go to private schools, while 41.5 percent supported the use of vouchers. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.6 percentage points.

About 41 percent of those surveyed said vouchers would strengthen public schools by encouraging competition, while 45.6 percent said vouchers would drain money from school districts and weaken public schools, according to the poll.

Stem cell research using cells from human embryos was supported by 53.4 percent of respondents, while 30.8 percent opposed the practice. Likewise, support for public funding for stem cell research out-polled opposition by a margin of 51.1 to 30.7 percent.

Those findings might be tempered by the fact that more than a third of those surveyed said they weren't really clear on the facts regarding stem cell research and the difference between embryonic stem cells and those adults or from sources like umbilical cords.