Americans rank jobs, research as priorities for candidates to address

October 13, 2010

A majority of Americans (58%) said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports increased federal spending on job creation, in a national poll commissioned by Research!America. In addition, support for expanded federal health research funding fared well among issues that would make Americans more likely to vote for a candidate.

Fully 91% of Americans think (R&D) is important to their state's economy, and 71% said investing in health research is important for and economic recovery. Data compiled by Research!America, available at, backs up this view, indicating a strong relationship between research funding and economic activity.

The poll is available here:

"Our poll findings show that Americans understand very clearly the connection between greater investment in research and economic growth and job creation, yet too few know their candidates' views on research," said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. "I urge all Americans to find out where their candidates stand on these important issues."

Despite strong public support for research funding, the poll found that a majority (53%) are not well informed about the positions of their senators and representative on medical, health and scientific research. Your Candidates-Your, an initiative of Research!America and two dozen partner organizations, asks congressional candidates to share their platforms for research and health. The site posts their responses and offers easy-to-use tools for the public to contact their candidates to thank them for submitting their views or ask them to do so.

In the poll, nearly nine in 10 Americans (88%) said it is important for Congress to work on a bipartisan basis, with civility and respect, to make research to improve health a top national priority.

"Research investment is absolutely essential to America's future—for our health and our economy—and it's essential that candidates for Congress understand this. Each dollar invested in research produces more than double that amount in economic output," said Research!America's chair, former Illinois Congressman John Edward Porter. "Americans deserve leaders in Congress who will work together to achieve sorely needed results for our nation's health and economic challenges today and in the future. Medical research, science and innovation are investments we simply cannot afford to postpone."

Additional findings from the poll include:

  • 87% think the U.S. military investment in research to improve health for service members and veterans is a good use of tax dollars.
  • 84% say it is important that the U.S. work to improve health globally through R&D.
  • 88% think basic scientific research is necessary and should be supported by the federal government; 87% say it is important for the U.S. to achieve the goal adopted by other countries of spending 3% of GDP on R&D; and 74% say education and training in science, technology, engineering and math is important to U.S. competitiveness and future economic prosperity.
  • 84% say prevention and wellness reduce health care costs, and 77% say research is part of the solution to these rising costs.
  • Fully 70% favor expanded federal funding for research using embryonic stem cells.
  • Americans are split on the speed of the drug approval process: 42% say the time it takes the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve drugs is too long, 12% say not long enough and 28% say it is about right.

Explore further: American Chemical Society calls on President to address US innovation, competitiveness

Related Stories

Poll: Gas tax increase might fly

February 28, 2006

A New York Times/CBS News poll suggests Americans might OK a gasoline tax hike if it reduced global warming or lessened U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

Basic research critical to America's economic recovery

February 11, 2009

The Science Coalition (TSC) today urged Congress to move swiftly to pass economic recovery legislation that includes strong funding for key science agencies including the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department ...

Poll shows less fear on health care overhaul

February 24, 2010

(AP) -- With President Barack Obama's health care overhaul in limbo, Americans' fears about its effect on them eased in January, according to a poll released as the president tries to revive sweeping Democratic legislation.

Poll finds concerns about pace of medical and health research

May 20, 2010

Nearly three-quarters of Americans are confident in our system for reviewing the effectiveness and safety of new medicines and medical devices, yet 41% say it takes too long to approve a drug and allow it to be sold to consumers. ...

Recommended for you

Who you gonna trust? How power affects our faith in others

October 6, 2015

One of the ongoing themes of the current presidential campaign is that Americans are becoming increasingly distrustful of those who walk the corridors of power – Exhibit A being the Republican presidential primary, in which ...

Ancient genome from Africa sequenced for the first time

October 8, 2015

The first ancient human genome from Africa to be sequenced has revealed that a wave of migration back into Africa from Western Eurasia around 3,000 years ago was up to twice as significant as previously thought, and affected ...

From a very old skeleton, new insights on ancient migrations

October 9, 2015

Three years ago, a group of researchers found a cave in Ethiopia with a secret: it held the 4,500-year-old remains of a man, with his head resting on a rock pillow, his hands folded under his face, and stone flake tools surrounding ...

Mexican site yields new details of sacrifice of Spaniards

October 9, 2015

It was one of the worst defeats in one of history's most dramatic conquests: Only a year after Hernan Cortes landed in Mexico, hundreds of people in a Spanish-led convey were captured, sacrificed and apparently eaten.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.