Two-thirds of Americans (66%) say it's important for candidates running for office to assign a high priority to funding medical research, according to America Speaks, Volume 14, a compilation of key questions from public opinion polls commissioned by Research!America. Polling shows that Americans place a high value on U.S. leadership in medical innovation, yet only 12% say they are very well informed about the positions of their senators and representative when it comes to their support of medical and scientific research.
To help close this knowledge gap, Research!America and partner organizations are launching a national voter education initiative, Ask Your Candidates! Is Medical Research Progress a Priority? Through online and grassroots activities, social media strategies and on-the-ground events, congressional candidates will be urged to share their views on government policies and support for medical innovation conducted in both the public and private sectors.
"Candidates must do a better job articulating their vision for medical progress, clarifying what level of priority they assign to research as a way to assure improved health, well-being and economic security of all Americans," said Mary Woolley, president and CEO of Research!America. "Voters need to know whether their candidates view lifesaving medical research as an imperative or an afterthought."
During election season, Americans want candidates to talk about medical progress. Nearly three-quarters (74%) say it's important to know whether their candidates for Congress are supportive of medical and scientific research. Notably, more than half of respondents (53%) do not believe elected officials in Washington are paying enough attention to combating the many deadly diseases that afflict Americans.
In other polling in America Speaks:
61% of Americans agree that the federal government must increase investments in medical and health research now to ensure that the U.S. can compete globally.
48% say we are not making enough progress in medical research in the U.S.
80% say it's important that our nation supports research that focuses on improving how our health care system is functioning.
73% believe the federal government should assign a higher priority to improving education focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics and careers in those fields.
43% would be willing to pay $1 per week more in taxes if they were certain that all of the money would be spent on additional medical research.
75% say investing in research is important to job creation and economic recovery.