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Cloning Survey Finds Widespread Opposition

A Pew Research Center poll released in early April showed 77 percent of the 2,002 people questioned said they oppose scientific experiments in human cloning.

A majority of respondents also said the government should fund stem-cell research. Fifty percent said stem-cell research should be funded, compared with 35 percent who said it should not.

Asked which is more important, conducting research toward medical cures or not destroying human embryos, 47 percent said "medical research," while 39 percent said "not destroying embryos."

A second poll by the Polling Company found 63 percent support President Bush's opposition to reproductive cloning. The Polling Company is a Washington-based firm founded by a former pollster for President Reagan, the Wirthlin Group and congressional Republicans.

In the Pew poll, the faith group most likely to oppose cloning was evangelical. In that group, 88 percent said they opposed it, compared to 75 percent of Catholics, 81 percent of black Protestants, 79 percent of mainline Protestants and 56 percent of those defined as "secular" or not belonging to a particular faith.

When it came to the subject of stem-cell research, opponents tended to list religious beliefs as the strongest factor in their position. Thirty-seven percent of opponents of stem-cell research said their religious beliefs are behind it, compared to 29 percent who cited what they've seen or read in the media and 12 percent who answered "education."

Supporters of stem-cell research were most likely to cite media influence in their decision, at 42 percent, followed by education, 28 percent, and personal experience, 10 percent.

The Pew poll was based on phone interviews conducted between Feb. 25 and March 10. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points on the full sample.